Serendipity – happy accident or pleasant surprise!

If you find good things without looking for them, serendipity – unexpected good luck – brought them to you.

The first noted use of the word ‘serendipity’ in the English language was by Horace Walpole on 28 January 1754.
This rare word thus does not come from Latin or Greek, but rather was coined by this British nobleman from an ancient Persian fairy tale known in English as ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’. The story tells of three princes who were banished from the kingdom of Serendip (another term for Sri Lanka) in order to prove their worth. As they wander the world, “serendipitous” moments occur to them time after time, making discoveries through chance in a rather unbelievable amount, much like in some children’s stories or superhero movies.
In other words, it seems like Walpole first created the word serendipity as some mild ridicule of such “happy accidents”.

Meanwhile, the word has been exported into many other languages, with the general meaning of good luck in finding valuable things unintentionally, of “unexpected discovery” or “fortunate chance”.

Today the term ‘serendipity’ is often applied to inventions and discoveries made by chance rather than intent. Also, it has become a design principle for online activity that would present viewpoints diverging from those which participants already hold. The concept has potential application in the design of social media, information searches, and web browsing.

Furthermore, in everyday life the term serves as a favourite inspirational line everywhere: “seek serendipity!”
It encourages people to look for and notice those unexpected good things that are always out there, if we have the eyes to see them. Serendipity is not seen as an “accident” at all, yet an attitude or kind of lifestyle in which you are always reaching for those unexpected things and anticipating happy surprises to occur.

Anyway, best of luck to you, and may you have some of such wonderful moments when all the random pieces come together for you!