‘Serendipity’ has always been one of my favorite words.
This is true in part because of how it feels on the tongue when you say it. Not many words make love to the mouth and cuddle the ear like ‘serendipity.’
But an even bigger reason why I love the word so much is because of what it represents: a happy accident; an unexpected bit of good fortune; a surprise blessing from out of the blue.
Yet, to simply ascribe serendipity to accidents or happenstance is to miss an essential element of the concept itself.
The circumstances from which serendipity arises may not be in our control, but our willingness to embrace them once presented most certainly is.
It’s only an accident until we make it a happy one; it’s only an unexpected bit until we spin it into good fortune; it’s just a random event out of the blue until we hug it into being a surprise blessing.
I’m not telling you anything that isn’t already in the definition:
- Dictionary.com: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
- Merriam-Webster.com: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
The two most important words are ‘aptitude’ and ‘faculty.’ And as if to drive home the point, each definition begins with them.
We must be open to serendipity. We must be willing to embrace the weird, wonderful, wacky circumstances life presents and find the happy accidents, unexpected good fortune, and surprise blessings within them. Because they are everywhere.
The person sitting next to you on the airplane. (Who later becomes your flame.)
The random friend request from the person you don’t know. (Who quickly becomes an inspirational friend.)
The chance meeting at a coffee shop with a friend of a friend. (Who later becomes your business partner.)
You could sit silently with your headphones on reading a magazine. You could ignore requests from people you don’t know. You could choose not to follow-up on a friend-of-a-friend’s offer.
Or you could choose to be open to serendipity. You could choose to develop your aptitude for it.
Maybe you hope for serendipity. Don’t.
Serendipitous circumstances are everywhere. They are omnipresent in your life. They come, they go, and each time you have a choice to be open to them or to ignore them.
You never know when the next ‘best thing’ in your life could be right there in front of you. Choose serendipity and find out.