Does serendipity lead to destiny or create destiny?
In April of 2017, I delivered a keynote address in Caesar’s Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. My topic: Purposeful Collaboration in the Workplace. One of the examples I shared with the audience in that ballroom came from Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos.
Hsieh wrote that we need to “maximize collisions to accelerate serendipity.” That is, we need to put ourselves in the position to connect with as many pertinent resources as possible in order to increase chances for progress, growth, learning, and connections. Unthinking isolation can create separation.
Laurie and I spent the next afternoon touring the architecture and history of Downtown Las Vegas. Also known as Old Las Vegas, this area is a few miles north of the famous Las Vegas strip. We were fortunate to explore the area with Paco, the Art Curator for Zappos. I had been hoping for a chance encounter to shake hands and get a photo with the legendary founder of Zappos. Chances were slim. However, during the last five minutes of our more than two-hour walking tour, who did we bump into on the sidewalk? Tony Hsieh.
Serendipity or destiny?
A few nights ago, I was introduced to two concepts that reminded me of that serendipitous meeting on a Las Vegas sidewalk: Beshert and The Red Thread.
Beshert is a Yiddish term that can be translated as fate, destiny, that something is meant to be. Like the inevitability of a relationship developing.
The Red Thread can be found in the Chinese and Japanese cultures. With slight variations, the read thread is what connects those who are destined to meet. The thread remains throughout life, pulling us toward a situation like a relationship that we felt destined to find. In tough times and in good, the thread connects.
When I heard the explanations of Beshert and The Red Thread I thought of Hsieh’s “collisions” for “serendipity.” If we remain walled off in an office, our home, or some self-imposed isolation, we limit our collisions. We minimize our chances to “bump” into someone or an idea.
Do we, as a consequence, tinker with our destiny?
Think of a serendipitous community connection that introduced you to a project you knew you were destined to lead. Or a blind date that led to a lifetime relationship.
Coincidence or destiny? Meant to be or up to your actions?
Does serendipity lead us to destiny or create destiny for us?
Video recommendation for the week:
A video explaining The Red Thread.
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®