"It happened by chance:" The serendipity
We all know people who were going about their own business
not seeking new direction. Guidance came, unasked, from sources
It's not enough to receive a message: you have to know how
to listen and interpret what comes.
rarely provides serendipitous guidance, but can help you listen
and interpret more effectively.
Charles found his career in junior high school, when he literally
fell from the choir loft into the church organ. He was so
fascinated by the repairs that the specialist invited him
to work in his shop.
Through high school, Charles did small chores and later graduated
to apprentice repair. He never bothered with college. Now
his firm repairs church organs all over the region
According to a story from long ago, the California Highway
Patrol stopped a man for speeding. Noting that he handled
the car exceptionally well at high speeds, they suggested
he apply to the CHP. Now he can drive ninety miles an hour
all day long.
In her book Fighting Fire, Caroline Paul describes the birth
of her career. During one of her workouts in a gym, a man
greeted her, complimented her strength, and handed her a Fire
Department recruiting pamphlet. Caroline, a Stanford graduate
who had planned graduate study in fine arts, went on to become
one of the first women fire fighters in San Francisco.
A particularly good story comes from the owners of Three
Dog Bakery. When their dog refused to eat, the vet suggested,
"Why don't you cook for her?"
The owner had no idea where to begin. He modified a cookie
recipe and the dog wolfed it down. That was the beginning
of an empire.
In an audiotape about work (I can't find the source), author
Thomas Moore says he had just decided to stop teaching psychology
when someone asked him, "Will you be my therapist?"
That question gave him a new career.
Do the rest of us ignore those messages?
I'm trying to collect more serendipity stories, but people
who fall into work they love do not read self-help books or
call career coaches. I suspect the rest of us also receive
messages, but we ignore them.
A professor says to a student, "You have a knack for
this subject and you should major in it." A neighbor
says, "You ought to consider making a career out of your
talent." And the conversation is forgotten half an hour
Sometimes the message should be heard as, "Keep this
talent somewhere in your life, not necessarily as a profit
center." Nina gives pottery as Christmas presents, but
she will not give up her lucrative day job in advertising.
She realizes the need to market her wares would overwhelm
her love of the clay.
True messages leave you feeling as if you've been hit on
the head by a flying two-by-four. They reach your heart. They
feel "right." You hear them as invitations, not
As you open your intuition and become focused on what you
want, you'll find yourself attracting more invitations. And
one of them might take you to worlds you never dreamed of.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.