Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"A state of mind wherein a person,
through awareness and sensitivity,
frequently finds something that is better
than the thing he was seeking."

I have always like this word (and the movie). The other day I was reading an essay by Richard M. Eyre, author of Teaching Your Children Values, and I loved his section on Serendipity and thought I'd share a little to 1. give you something to think about like it has me and 2. for my own memory sake.

This essay was written to summarize and introduce the reader to his new book, The Three Deceivers which actually looks quite interesting and I may have to read (I sensed some eternal principles in there).

The three deceivers are control, ownership and independence. Those don't create happiness, but rather unhappiness and the concepts we should replace those with are: serendipity, stewardship and synergicity ( a combo of synergy and synchronicity).

He writes:

"The alternative to the deceiver of Control is Serendipity, an attitude that pursues pro-active goals but stays open to surprises and looks for the spontaneous, the unexpected, and the adventure in life and welcomes them all. Let me tell you a story:

. . . That summer, I had an internship in Hawaii, with an airline. I would fly to one of the outer islands each weekend and hitchhike. One Saturday, on the big island, I got a ride with a bona fide Hawaiian couple. They picked me up in Hilo and off we went for Kona, on the other side of the island. They kept stopping to show me a waterfall, or some big lilies, or an old volcano. All day they delightedly showed me their island, and at sunset, we pulled into Kona. I thanked them and said how lucky I felt that they had been going all the way to Kona. "Oh no," the man said in his pigeon English, "We were not going to Kona, we were going grocery store."

I stared at him in amazement and he explained, "We can go grocery store tomorrow--cannot take you to Kona tomorrow!"

The Serendipity alternative to the Control deceiver simply means that as we pursue our goals and check off our lists, we take off our blinders and see other people and their needs and the opportunities that come up unexpectedly. We relish rather than resent surprises and we look for chances to meet new people or go in new directions that we couldn't have predicted or planned. We accept the fact that we don't (and can't and wouldn't want to) control everything, and thus each day becomes an adventure.

I just love that story and the last paragraph because, as you know -- I am a list maker (and checker-off-er). I need more Serendepity in my life and I'm looking to "bring it on" in 2009!


Amy said...

I do love that story. And I just might use it in my talk - thanks!

Megan said...

So cool, what a great story. Makes me think about a lot of things. It's hard to let loose and go with the flow of life sometimes and embrace the unexpected.

Cyndee said...

Wow! You gave me a new freewrite for my students. I love the idea of serendepity. Remember the movie - I think it gave the wrong idea or I didn't get it. But Frozen Hot Chocolate is good!