Planning for Serendipity

Liz Sumner Learning, Wisdom Leave a Comment

Yesterday in conversation I was describing how a certain event in my life came about and realized that many if not all of my major milestones happened by chance– or at least that’s the way I think about them. My college major, my best jobs, meeting my husband, our home in Italy. I stumbled upon them, looked around, said this looks interesting, let’s try this.

Part of me– a large part– is pleased with this story. Life happens to me. I go through the world and have encounters and gain wisdom and here I am.

For some this may seem too passive. If I had been more directed, if I had doggedly pursued a course of action– how would my life have turned out?

Just posing that question makes me smile. It’s so foreign to who I am. One of the great benefits of aging is to grow comfortable with yourself. I am not a careerist. I am not driven except by the desire for self-discovery.

And how does this jibe with Productivity Coaching?

I neglected to mention that I have an instinctive sense of order, and one of my life adventures was graduate school in organization development and planned change. How people learn, work in teams, plan and pursue goals, and the structures that enable or prevent progress fascinate me.

While I pretend that I skip along the road of life and wonder how the story will unfold, in fact I have done deep work on goals and values. I regularly review my progress, measure the results, and make adjustments. I challenge myself. I look for ways to stretch.

A wise friend once advised me to describe the qualities I wanted in a goal rather than specific features then keep your eyes/mind/heart open. You’d be surprised how often you receive what you seek.

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