or the benefits of serendipity
Serendippo, according to a Persian tale, is a kingdom ruled by a king concerned with the moral education of his three princes. To perfect their education, he sends them to the four corners of the kingdom to glean valuable lessons and thus make them exemplary monarchs.
According to Le Robert dictionary, serendipity is the “ability or capacity to make an unexpected discovery by chance and to grasp its utility (scientific, practical).”
Have you incorporated serendipity as a factor of progress or even transformation in your life? If so, how have you structured your life so that serendipity flows naturally?
The big tech companies like Google have well integrated this notion. The 20% rule is a perfect illustration: 20% of the Googlers’ (Google employees) time can be freely used for personal research, whether it is related to their work or not.
Serendipity can take different forms: genetic (if you decide for example to have children with someone who is not of your nationality), intellectual (if you try to learn a new language or if you read books of different genres), emotional (if you immerse yourself in cultures that do not share the same emotional codes for social interaction) etc.
Serendipity is an integral part of our species. It is this idea that allowed our ancestors to make discoveries and even simply to evolve. Bipedalism, hand grasping, tool making, fire control etc. All these innovations were necessarily accompanied by risk-taking, and even more so by serendipity.
We all have a greater or lesser propensity for serendipity, whether it is natural or cultural in origin. This value is a factor of progress, but it must be measured against what we are. It is thus not desirable to make serendipity the paradigm of our life if we aspire deep down to a calm, sedentary life, free of disturbance. Serendipity is a spectrum where we can all find our place. Here is a list of some activities that can develop this value in you:
- getting seriously involved in a social network to increase your network of acquaintances
- learning a new skill
- joining an association
- talking to strangers (e.g. by carpooling)