The Importance of Serendipity

How many of you made New Year’s resolutions? How many of you have already fallen off the wagon? My friend Hillary Hutchinson writes a blog on managing change and has some good advice:

…We give ourselves a goal, we fall short, lose confidence, and give up.  Why not just admit that making ourselves change is hard? That it is not the end of the world when we slide back to our old behaviors from time to time?  This does not mean we should give up. For every time we get back on track, it is often a little bit easier to stay the course a little bit longer.  This kinder path let’s us build confidence. Having some compassion for our failures can lead us to new self-discoveries.

Sometimes letting ourselves off the hook can create serendipitous connections. For the wordsmiths among us, the first noted use of “serendipity” in the English language was by British writer Horace Walpole (1717–1797).  He noted that it wasn’t just the unexpected thing that happened, but that there had to be an awareness (“sagacity”) to link together the unexpected with the old for a new understanding…

And how does one do that? Read the full essay here (the January 8th post).

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