Today, we’re looking into the phenomenon of Serendipity, stumbling across something positive that you weren’t looking for. Despite generally happening by chance, is it possible to welcome more serendipitous events into your life? In this article, let’s look at some tips and tricks, and see if we can help you let go a little and embrace the beauty of unexpected bliss.
The origin of Serendipity
The word Serendipity was coined by English writer and politician Horace Walpole in 1754 as an allusion to Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. He was inspired by the fairy tale of The Three Princes of Serendip which, in turn, was written by an Italian author. In this story, these three brothers stumbled upon happy discoveries without looking for them, which lead to Walpole inventing a new word for this occurrence: Serendipity.
What does Serendipity mean?
It’s easy to look up a dictionary definition of the word, in fact, I’ve already done that for you; The Cambridge dictionary says, ‘Serendipity: allowing for chance finds, and accepting that what is found is not necessarily what was being looked for’. Okay, great; unfortunately, it doesn’t go on to tell you exactly how you could invite more of this into your life. But then again, wouldn’t that then be the exact opposite of what serendipity is? If you’re doing things to manifest it, to control it, it’s no longer something you weren’t looking for, right?
Perhaps not entirely. One could argue that we’re all surrounded by acts of serendipity, we’re just not seeing them. Maybe it’s really about being more conscious of everything that happens to you, being more aware of all the connections you make and being more in touch with all that surrounds you in this life. Isn’t it the mere act of attention that invites us to see, experience and discover things that would otherwise go unnoticed? Serendipity can bring simple pleasures and happiness to your everyday life, and the surprise factor associated with serendipity has the power to trigger our minds, to prompt us to think, to go a little deeper and learn more. When you consider this, there is a chance that it’s possible to personally promote the occurrence of serendipity and let it unfold infinitely.
Pay close attention
Could it be as simple as slowing down, finding peace of mind, and paying just a little more attention? Could it be that becoming more aware of the little things encourages chance, possibility, and opportunity to knock at your door more often? Well, yes! We’re often so embedded in doing everyday things that we don’t look up and see what’s happening around us. Think back to today’s commute to work, can you remember every minute of it? If you took the bus, do you remember what the person sitting next to you was wearing? Being present in the moment, believing in the existence of serendipity, will help you recognise details, moments, or circumstances that could change your life.
Keep an open mind
Acknowledging or recognising a moment as potentially significant to you personally is what sets serendipity apart from luck. Luck just happens to you; serendipity is when you become aware of the potential of something – you’re involved in turning a happenstance into something advantageous. Open your heart to expecting the unexpected and open your mind to the infinite possibilities that surround you.
Most inventions are by-products of serendipitous moments. The Post-it uses glue that was considered a failure, because it wasn’t sticky enough. X-rays, penicillin, tea bags, the microwave… they’re all accidental discoveries. These are all examples of people asking themselves questions and being curious. Instead of binning the failed glue, some guy wondered if he could use it to stick bookmarks into his book so he wouldn’t lose them.