The Power of Serendipity

After almost five decades of reading business how-to books, articles, on-line submissions and periodicals, one of the most significant points to resonate with me has come from Susan Scott’s great book on “Fierce Conversations”, published in 2002.

In it, Scott suggests that we should approach every conversation of significance in our lives, as if it was the most important one we would ever have- because it just might be.

Charlies Pachter, the great Canadian artist, picked up on this theme when he spoke to the graduating class at Brock University at around the same time on the power of serendipity; the skill or ability to find valuable and agreeable things not originally sought for or expected.

Both Scott and Pachter encourage the power of openness; being willing and able to approach everything from the perspective of “something unexpected and great may come of this” – whether”this” is a chat, a meeting, an event like moMonday, a letter, a seminar- whatever. Serendipity, in fact, is the chance to be in the right place at the right time with the right people, so that good things happen. And, while many serendipitous moments DO happen purely by chance, they ONLY happen if we are open to the possibility that they may. This requires us to have an optimistic, hopeful and positive attitude about each day, each person we know, each event that happens to us, even if, on the surface, none of these seem particularly great at any one time. Because, as the saying goes, you just never know.

On the surface, my experience that I will be sharing at moMonday December 18, was anything but hopeful, optimistic or positive – in fact very much the opposite. But, surprisingly and perhaps because I had to learn to make the best of it, the outcomes constructively shaped my life for the better in so many tangible and intangible ways. I had to learn to be open to the power of serendipity; and, amazingly, serendipity occurred.

This blog post was written by Peter Barrow. Catch Peter at momondays Guelph, ON on 12/18/2017! Get your advance tickets here: Buy Tickets

Peter trained as a journalist; founded a marketing business in 1979; sold that and began a corporate training business back in 2000. He and his wife Fiona met on a serendipitous blind date and have been married for 47 years. His first business sold – today it is The Letter M in Guelph- because of a chance chat with the current owners. His momondays experience has proved to be the most serendipitous yet.

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