Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and don’t forget to wear green! Tradition has it that a four leaf clover is the universal symbol for good luck which offers magical protection and wards off bad luck. Some even believe that when holding a four leaf clover you are able to see magical fairies. And who wouldn’t love that?!? Each of the four leaves of the clover represents a different element: one leaf is for faith, one is for hope, one is for love, one is for luck.
Everybody wants a bit of luck in their lives because many believe that its luck that leads us to those serendipitous moments where a “happy accident” leads us to a happy or even life changing event.
So if we can’t find a four leaf clover, than what can we do to bring good luck and serendipity into our lives?
University in College in London decided to do an experiment to determine if there were patterns to people’s serendipitous experiences. They asked people to submit their own stories to www.serendipitystories.net. They called the project SerenA and what they found through their study is that their serendipity is far more than an accident.
‘By looking for patterns, we’ve found that serendipity is more than an accident,’ says Dr Stephann Makri, who is working on the project. ‘While none of the people we interviewed engineered the opportunities that came their way, they all had two things in common.
‘First, they realised that an opportunity was being presented to them. Then, they seized the opportunity and took action.
‘When it comes to experiences such as walking down the road and bumping into someone you haven’t seen in years, who goes on to offer you a job or introduce you to the love of your life, several things need to happen.
‘First, you need to notice the old friend. Then you need to stop and talk to them, even though you might be busy or running late. Finally, you need to follow up on whatever might come out of that conversation.’
They concluded in the study that Serendipity requires three things:
- an element of luck that is out of your control
- having the wisdom to spot the opportunity, and
- acting on the opportunity.
While I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this study, my personal belief on Serendipity is slightly different from theirs, perhaps because of my personal religious beliefs. I too believe that Serendipity requires three things, but I would explain them a little differently:
- living your life in such a way that you are trying to do the right things, which will place you in the right place, at the right time, for God to bring opportunities into your life
- having the wisdom to always be listening for the Spirit’s guidance so you will notice these opportunities,
- having the faith to be courageous enough to act on these opportunities, trusting that if you do your best, God will make sure the outcome will be whatever He knows is the best thing for you.
I don’t think serendipitous events happen by accident. No not at all. I think they happen by divine intervention when we are trying our best to do what’s right. I can tell you that in my own life I have always found that when I am living my life in accordance with the values I believe in that:
- I have so much more confidence each day. I am happier. I am more relaxed. I am more excited about the future.
- I am more aware and open to noticing new opportunities around me because I know that God will direct me to the people and the places and the opportunities that he knows will make me into the very best person I can be.
- I am less afraid of failure because I know that as long as I try my very best, even if it appears to be a failure, that God will still be happy with me for trying and if I learned from it and grew from it then it wasn’t a failure in His eyes.
- I pay more attention to everyone around me so I won’t miss someone that God intended me to meet. I am also more mindful of others and I am more willing to serve others when I see them in need. Again, knowing that God might have placed them in my path so that I could help them, or so that they could teach me.
Each of these things lead to those serendipitous events in my life which continue to introduce me to experiences that teach me the greatest lessons, bring about the greatest joys, and cause me to feel the greatest happiness.
Faith, Hope, Love and Luck – That is the meaning of each of the four leaves of the lucky four leaf clover, and those are the same four things that have led to the good luck in my life. Faith is first for me without question. That faith gives me tremendous hope. My love for God is what grows my faith and helps me believe during tough times. And together those things bring me good luck and happiness.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! May your day be filled with faith, hope, love, and luck…and even a few magical fairies 🙂