Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says, "There will always be serendipity involved with discovery." You've know what I've found? "There will always be SerenDestiny involved with discovery."
Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared mind."
Do you know what I've found? Chance favors the aligned mind.
Here's what I mean.
I've been driving west for the past week as part of my YEAR BY THE WATER.
It was time to look for a place to stay. I deliberately don't book myself into hotels in advance because I like to make it up as I go. Sometimes I'm listening to a fascinating Audible (like Gloria Steinem's Life on the Road) and will drive for hours nonstop. Other times I discover an interesting town and decide to explore it, even if I've only been on the road an hour.
I was driving through the glorious Rocky and Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
They were so beautiful, I thought it'd be a crime to stay at a cookie-cutter "highway hotel" (e.g., Quality Inn or Comfort Inn) so I was keeping my eyes open for something green and in nature.
I saw a sign for Fairfield Glade Resort and thought, "That sounds green." I had no idea what it was, didn't know f they had places to rent, or if they'd have anything available, but it was worth checking it out, right? What did I have to lose?
Six miles down the road I found a reception center, walked in and asked if they had room at the inn. (smile).
Which is how, 20 minutes later, was I checking into a luxurious two bedroom condo with a washing machine, kitchen and spacious back porch overlooking woodlands - for about the same price as I would have paid for that Comfort Inn.
Which is also how, bright and early the next morning, I found myself "making waves and catching rays (thanks Little Big Town) and piloting a pontoon boat on beautiful Lake Dartmoor, lined by the greenest golf courses I've ever seen.
What's the lesson? I didn't PLAN this. I didn't even KNOW this place existed.
All I did was get clear about what I did NOT want (no highway hotels, thank you) - and what I DID want (something green and in nature) - and then I kept my antenna up for it.
When I saw something that was in alignment with my wants and wishes, I investigated. There were no guarantees. I didn't know what was going to happen, but my instincts and intuition were saying CHECK IT OUT.
I remember seeing security consultant Gavin de Becker interviewed on a TV show. He said he discovered something profound when interviewing people who had survived an assault or kidnapping for his book "The Gift of Fear." His first question to them was, "Did you have any wrning?'
Guess what they all said? "I knew something was wrong."
But they let their intellect over-ride their instincts. They looked around and thought, "It's broad daylight. I'm in an armored car. What could happen?"
I thought, "If our instincts alert us when something's about to go WRONG; don't they also alert us when something's about to go RIGHT?"
If we have a sixth sense that alerts us to DISSONANCE (something to avoid, run from) ... don't we also have a sixth sense that alerts us to RESONANCE (something to approach, head towards)?
Again and again on my Year by the Water, I have encountered and experienced mini-miracles (swimming with Zach the Dolphin, sailing on Chesapeake Bay with Captain Jen) - and not one of them did I PLAN.
I simply kept my antenna up and when something CAUGHT my attention, I PAID attention. When something resonated that was in alignment with my instincts and interests, I pursued it.
And it invariably delighted me. Because, as discussed in previous posts, our instincts have our best interests at heart.
If you want a life where the light is on in your eyes - start honoring your instincts. Get clear about what you don't want - and what you do want.
When your instincts warn you away from someone or something that is dissonant - DON'T GO THERE. When your instincts alert you to someone or something who is resonant - CHECK IT OUT.
Beat-the-odds opportunities are not luck, an accident or coincidence. They are not serendipity; they are your SerenDestiny, your best future meeting you halfway.
Author E.L. Doctorow was asked what it was like writing a novel. He said, "It's kind of like driving a car at night. You can only see to the end of your headlights; but you can make the whole trip that way."
Our instincts are our headlights.
Honor them. Act on them. They can help create a trip (and a life) that is in alignment with your interests, and that puts and keeps the light on in your eyes.
P.S. That beautiful photo of the flower above? That was taken on a sunset walk in my Oak Knoll neighborhood here at Fairfield Glade. More proof of the beauty we find when we pay attention to what catches our attention.