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Motivation Mondays: Serendipity

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“Unless you leave room for Serendipity, how can the Divine enter in? The beginning of the adventure of finding yourself is to lose the way.” Joseph Campbell

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity - Life's a journey ... enjoy the ride!

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity – Life’s a journey … enjoy the ride!

Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure-do it well, enjoy it-and then, not now, think about what comes next. Condoleeza Rice
Most discoveries even today are a combination of serendipity and of searching. Siddhartha Mukherjee

What does Serendipity mean to you? Serendipity is one of my favorite words because it is a fortuitous word, full of life, and defined as the phenomenon of finding valuable, pleasant or agreeable things not sought for (Merriam Webster). As I was considering ideal words for this motivational post, several popped into my head but, when serendipity landed, it percolated, sparkled and stayed. Most of us grew up in households where we were instructed to have a goal, a five year plan, all our ducks in a row, and the idea of happenstance was not encouraged. Yet, our creative drive often comes through a combination of discovery and effort. If we go through life rigidly trying to control every moment, we would end up quite miserable because if you’ve lived long enough, you’d know that all our plans don’t always pan out and that some of our most magical moments, even rewarding life events, have come through serendipity; being in the right place at the right time but not even knowing it.

When we allow ourselves to experience the natural flow of life and resist the temptation to always push/pull for every inch we think belongs to us, we will enter that realm of pleasant and positive surprises that might even take our breath away. Now, let’s be clear that serendipity is not about idling our lives away doing nothing and waiting for nirvana to drop. No, no, no! It’s about staying open to the possibility that the effort we make, and the steps we take, will open wondrous and bountiful doors.

A Story: Serendipity In Discovery
Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he constantly fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display.
When one of his friends asked why, Socrates said, “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”

A Story: Go With The Flow
Two panicky city dwellers found themselves lost in the high timber. After wandering for a day and a night, they came upon an old hermit.
“How do we find our way back to civilization?” they asked the hermit.
“I could tell you but you’d still get lost,” replied the hermit
“What should we do?” they asked.
“Go with the flow.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Go with the flow. You see that stream over there. Just follow it. Streams go into creeks and creeks go into rivers and rivers go through towns. Also along the way you’ll have water to drink and berries to eat.”
“Is that what Zen people mean when they say ‘go with the flow’?”
“Yes and no,” replied the Hermit proceeding along his way.


“I have never chosen my next job. I focus on what’s in front of me, and serendipity steps in.” Susan Brooks

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity - Life's a journey ... enjoy the ride!

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity – Life’s a journey … enjoy the ride!

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity - Life's a journey ... enjoy the ride!

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity – Life’s a journey … enjoy the ride!

The concept of serendipity often crops up in research. Serendipity is the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things that were not being sought. I believe that all researchers can be serendipitous. Akira Suzuki
What people call serendipity sometimes is just having your eyes open. Jose Manuel Barroso

What does Serendipity look like? Recently, I had to return to a favorite store because a purchase I made was rung up at a higher price, and another discounted item was entered at full price. Now, I didn’t enter the store with expectations beyond requesting a price adjustment. When it was my turn at the customer service desk, I explained what happened and handed the receipt to the rep. The rep smiled and told me to go get more of the same items from the shelf … which I did. I assumed it was for comparison or confirmation but, instead, I got a full refund on my purchases, told I could take home the items I picked up, and also keep what I had bought and left at home for free. Wow! I was tickled pink and walked out with a big smile on my face. It was serendipitous because the items were quite expensive and the end result was not sought. In small and large ways, we have all had serendipitous moments that reminded us of the goodness of our fellow men/women or that eased our burdens in a reassuring way. Of course, to experience serendipity, we must stay open, flexible and clear about our situation. To experience serendipity, we must not assume that everyone is “out to get us” because when we are paranoid or furious at others, and the world, we create blockages that blind us to the potential for great good in our lives.
How have you experienced serendipity in your life? We are all beneficiaries of the goodness and abundance that Mother Earth provides, and while we do experience our share of tough times, there is always room for pleasant moments and agreeable things in life. How? We must stay receptive and grateful, and make an effort to see others as collaborators not competitors. When we genuinely ask for help, without devious motives, the universe rallies to make it happen. It might not manifest in exactly the way we want or imagined it but, we will receive a positive shift in our circumstances. Here are a few fascinating stories to enjoy: Open NoteBook: Serendipity Stories

A Blessing For You & Us All
May the sun
bring you new energy by day,
May the moon
softly restore you by night,
May the rain
wash away your worries,
May the breeze
blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world
and know it’s beauty
All the days of your life. Unknown/Apache Blessing

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for April and May 2016 are:
04/04 –  Youth – 6 Intn’l Day of Sport, 7 World Health Day
04/11 –  Siblings Day
04/18 – Patriot’s Day,  Tax Day, 22 Earth Day
04/25 – Passover, 27 Administrative Professionals Day,  30 Jazz Day

05/02 – 1 May Day, 4 Star Wars Day, 5 Cinco de Mayo, 6 National Teacher’s Day, 8 Mother’s Day, 8 VE Day, WW II
05/09 – 13 Friday the 13th
05/16 – 20 Armed Forces Day
05/23 – 24 Victoria Day (Canada)
05/30 – 30 Memorial Day

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.




— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab


“There’s always going to be the circumstances you can’t plan for. There’s always the unexpected relevance and the serendipity.” Jason Silva

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity - Life's a journey ... enjoy the ride!

Motivation Mondays: Serendipity – Life’s a journey … enjoy the ride!

Serendipity always rewards the prepared. Katori Hall
Serendipity is nice, but hoping for luck and the magic of happenstance shouldn’t be an excuse for a lack of pro-activity. I had to learn for myself that waiting isn’t a life plan. Karen Finerman
“…use slowness to unlock your creativity. Anyone can do it. Start by clearing space in your schedule for rest, daydreaming and serendipity. Take breaks away from your desk, especially when you get stuck on a problem. Carl Honore

How do we make life more serendipitous? By remembering that when we are motivated to help others accomplish their goals, we become the embodiment of serendipity for them. When we do our part by staying committed to our work and our dreams, we open the door to those joyful, seemingly magical exchanges that help us. I chose the quotes above because they are a terrific way to wrap up this post. Life is about balance, effort and trust; we can choose to trust that the process will connect us with other souls who will help us make our plans bear fruit.  Life is about synergy, and we all need it to flourish. While some folks like to claim that they are self made, it is far from the truth. We need the synergy and serendipity that brings our effort to fruition, and this includes the support of  many others in our lives; friends, family, and the silent witnesses who wish us well. Stay motivated and give it all you got. You have serendipity/fortune on your side.

A Story: You are the embodiment of Serendipity
The master sculptor surveyed the different blocks of marble at the quarry. In his lifetime he had learned that there existed a “suchness” to every piece of stone. Finding that suchness and releasing it to its true life had been the secret of
the sculptor’s success.
“Ah-ha,” he would say. “There is a heroic figure locked in that piece and a saint trapped inside that other one. But where will I find the stone from which I will sculpt my masterwork, a glorious statue of the Buddha?”
He had been searching for what he called the “Buddha block” for over forty years and now he felt his energies waning. He had traveled to the great quarries of the world: Italy where Michelangelo had mined his stone, Vermont where the stone glowed with light, and to obscure regions of the mountains of China.
Nowhere could he find that one perfect slab from which he knew he could release the most perfect likeness of Buddha. He consulted experts from around the world. He hired a specialist to scour obscure areas. No success. In search of consolation, he sought out a local Zen priest, who headed a small temple just at the end of his street. When he explained his fruitless search, the priest smiled and said, “No problem.”
“Do you mean you can tell me where I might find the perfect material from which I can release the Buddha of my dreams??” said the excited sculptor.
“Of course.”
“Over there,” said the priest, pointing to a stone well in the courtyard. The excited sculptor ran to the well and looked down. There he saw his own image looking back at him.


Source: Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: Be a fountain of goodwill and a blessing to someone else. Serendipity resides in each of us.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
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Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:All Photos  –  Adventure, Valuable, Pleasant, via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

84 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol Cassara (@ccassara) permalink
    16/05/2016 4:07 pm

    I love the marble story because it really is true: we are looking all over for what we need, when the reality is, we already possess it. Serendipity has always played a huge role in my life. Most recently and dramatically, it was evident in 2008 when my first husband, from whom I had been divorced 26 years, called to reconnect because he wanted to remarry. It looked like it was out of the blue when really, the Divine had made all sorts of things happen so we could reconnect. Serendipity: one of my favorite words.

  2. The Binder Ladies (@thebinderladies) permalink
    16/05/2016 5:14 pm

    Serendipity to me, means my little gypsy life! Everything that comes into my life is meant to be there. I love it!

  3. 16/05/2016 5:33 pm

    The word serendipity always makes me smile. It is such a happy word that fills me with a sense of good fortune and gratitude.

    • 16/05/2016 9:34 pm

      I knew you’d like it. Plus, it’s one of those words that roll off the tongue so beautifully… very poetic. 🙂

  4. sparkofsouthernmoms permalink
    16/05/2016 6:05 pm

    I like coming to your site and reading all the different stories and inspirations you have. It makes my day and you give me something to think about! Thank you!

  5. 16/05/2016 6:20 pm

    I love the Joseph Campbell quote. That is so true. I like to believe I am leaving room for my serendipidity, but I will say, I haven’t had a fun experience like yours in the store…! 🙂

    • 16/05/2016 9:31 pm

      Hahaha! Thank you Genevieve. Campbell’s quote spoke to me and the shopping experience was the icing on the cake. <3

  6. Stephanie Pass permalink
    16/05/2016 6:50 pm

    I love the word serendipity. It makes me think of my husband. We would have probably never crossed paths, yet our chance meeting turned into something so wonderful.

  7. Liz Mays permalink
    16/05/2016 6:50 pm

    I do like the idea of just letting life happen and enjoying the moment. I have a hard time doing that sometimes.

  8. Karlaroundtheworld | Karla permalink
    16/05/2016 6:51 pm

    How about that, pictures that describe the very meaning of finding the most valuable things in life. Serendipity is also an achievement on its own, few people have tried and found it on their own.

  9. Askterinah permalink
    16/05/2016 7:55 pm

    This post reminds me of the movie “Serendipity”. A lot of people actually believe in it, but I honestly don’t. I don’t know, maybe because I hate thinking that there’s a fixed plan for me.

    • 16/05/2016 9:27 pm

      But, it’s not a fixed plan at all… It’s about staying open to the unexpected good that showers us with grace. <3

  10. momknowsbest15 permalink
    16/05/2016 8:53 pm

    These pictures are so relaxing and calming. I love your new word.

  11. Travel Blogger permalink
    16/05/2016 9:16 pm

    I find serendipity all of the time in the beautiful state I live in, but I find it most often at the beach.

  12. Pooja Kawatra Gupta permalink
    19/05/2016 8:04 am

    I do believe in Serendipity and many things happen in our life as they are meant to be. All the photos have some meaning attached to it.

  13. Rachel Mouton permalink
    19/05/2016 8:17 am

    I love the word serendipity too! It’s just so much fun to say LOL I love what Socrates said about being happy without all the things in the marketplace 🙂

  14. May De Jesus-Palacpac permalink
    19/05/2016 8:51 am

    Hmmm, I’m not sure if this qualifies as serendipity, but as I got older, I learned not to fight the moments when things do not happen as I have wanted them to happen. I have learned to accept things are postponed, delayed or denied for a reason; or that things occur to me because I’m meant to live and learn something out of it.

  15. Ryan Sales Escat permalink
    19/05/2016 9:00 am

    You always give your readers inspirational stories. I am grateful to be part of your pack.

  16. Angela Bethea permalink
    19/05/2016 9:43 am

    Serendipity not only reminds of its meaning but also the movie. I love this post. Thank you so much for inspiring us. xx

  17. jasminekeclipse permalink
    19/05/2016 11:24 am

    LOVE this series so much! I’m happy I found this, now I’m reading through all the other Motivation Mondays! I loved that Joseph Campbell quote and the Apache verse. So inspiring, and just the pick-me-up I needed!

  18. Yona Williams permalink
    19/05/2016 12:03 pm

    Every time I see the word ‘Serendipity,’ I think of that movie with John Cusack. I love when the unexpected turns out better than what the expected is supposed to bring.

  19. Melissa Bernardo permalink
    19/05/2016 12:47 pm

    I have always loved the word serpendipity. Great word to put a smile on my face!

  20. The Pink Caboodle permalink
    19/05/2016 1:07 pm

    Love this! “Positive Motivation Tip: Be a fountain of goodwill and a blessing to someone else. Serendipity resides in each of us.” I try to model my life after this 🙂

  21. Holly @ Woman Tribune permalink
    19/05/2016 5:41 pm

    Serendipity is such a great word, and so full of lovely connotations. I tend to have trouble experiencing the natural flow of things in life. I almost constantly want to have some control over what has emerged in my life. Control freak? Who, me?

  22. Holly permalink
    19/05/2016 5:42 pm

    Serendipity is such a great word, and so full of lovely connotations. I tend to have trouble experiencing the natural flow of things in life. I almost constantly want to have some control over what has emerged in my life. Control freak? Who, me?

  23. Maria Teresa Figuerres permalink
    20/05/2016 12:43 am

    I love having serendipitous moments, though I rarely experience them. It’s either that or I’m not taking much notice of these. I hope one happens soon!

  24. HealthierSteps permalink
    20/05/2016 7:59 pm

    When my husband suddenly got a call and was offered a new position from the Midwest to Florida. I got an opportunity to enjoy serendipity. I decided to enjoy the journey and it’s been one of the best experiences of our lives.

  25. aimlessmoments permalink
    20/05/2016 8:47 pm

    I always think of the movie when I hear the word. I love the movie too!

  26. Mecheel Casenas permalink
    22/05/2016 11:09 pm

    Just what I need for the day. Serendipity that is. Thanks for the great story and photos.

  27. Mommy Maye permalink
    22/05/2016 11:20 pm

    Serendipity means a pleasant surprise to me when I least expect it. It always happen to me because sometimes I expect the worst but the reverse of it happen. It feels so good 🙂

  28. Melgie permalink
    24/05/2016 9:38 am

    Serendipity means everything I need in my life my family, friends and all little things that makes me happy. Great thoughts for the week, Eliz:)

  29. phyliciamarie permalink
    26/05/2016 10:52 pm

    That store you went to that gave you a full refund plus lots of free stuff has such great customer service! Of course you’d be tickled pink, the results are very unexpected!

  30. Cai Dominguez permalink
    27/05/2016 4:54 pm

    Ohhh whenever I hear the world serendipity, I can’t help but smile. It’s so positive and bright. I feel like angels are going down from heaven. Serendipity or pleasant surprise. I love that since I love surprises:)


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