Harnessing Chance: The Science of Serendipity

By Horacio Krell*

Chance is an unforeseen event that can transform our lives and holds extraordinary potential. In this exploration, we unravel the art of turning chance into good luck, delving into the fascinating dimension of serendipity.

We will discover how preparation, perspective and conscious action are the keys to unlocking the doors that chance presents to us. In the story “The Three Princes of Serendip”, they traveled solving problems. In this way they found answers to the enigmas that appeared and in this way the princes prepared to learn to govern.

The Good Luck Test: Good luck is not simply a gift of chance, but a direct result of our ability to respond to the unexpected. Let’s examine the importance of changing our relationship with reality, stopping waiting for things to happen and instead actively creating the conditions for favorable events to occur.

The viewer waits for events to happen, the protagonist makes things happen.

Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries: Serendipity is making accidental discoveries, it is a powerful technique. Following Pasteur’s idea that chance favors prepared minds, we will explore how chance can become opportunity and how appropriate responses to unexpected situations can lead to great achievements.

Opportunity Station: It is important to know how to recognize the season of opportunity when it appears in our lives. Happiness is not just about reaching the destination, but about enjoying the way you travel. We will learn to take advantage of every moment as an opportunity for discovery, inspired by the innate curiosity of a child.

Newton said: “I am not a genius, I stand on the backs of giants.” The thing is that life is too short to learn first-hand and hard. We must take advantage of those who traveled before. As Goethe said, “What you have inherited you must acquire so that it is yours.”

Princes discovered things unintentionally. They sailed on the waves of destiny, letting chance order their lives. Serendipity or good fortune refers to discoveries by chance.

However, success is not accidental and common sense is not as common as it seems. To turn chance into good luck you have to take a trip back in the time tunnel. In this way the child within will be found and it will be understood that “the child is the father of the man.”

In 1754 writer Horace Walpole fell in love with the story and invented the term serendipity.

Cases of serendipity. Hiero of Syracuse asked Archimedes to determine if the crown he had been given was made of gold, as he had contracted. Since the weight of the crown was equal to the gold delivered, he could not prove what he assumed was a scam. Archimedes slept in the bathtub. When he submerged, the water overflowed and he woke up shouting: “Eureka” (I found it). He deduced that he could check the constitution of the crown, assuming that it had a mixture of gold and silver. He had a crown made of gold and another of silver, of equal weight, and he detected that the first caused less water to overflow. He compared it with the king’s crown and proved the fraud.

Alfred Wegener, looking at a map, realized that the coasts of Africa and South America looked alike and deduced that both continents had been together millions of years ago.

In 1978 measuring the orbital characteristics of Pluto. James Chisty placed a photographic plate of Pluto on a rover. He noticed a bump, and decided to discard the photo. Christy looked at previous ones. He found files that showed the same lump. Later studies of it showed that it was a moon of Pluto which he named Charon.

The discovery of DNA is another example. In 1962, biologist James Watson, physicist Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins discovered the structure of the molecule called “the secret of life.” Its discovery was due to noticing that the pairs of nitrogenous bases were not equal as until then thought.

Nature acts with serendipity: species evolve in stable periods of time in some cases and in others after great variations. These changes occur randomly.

Not only great discoveries but also small technological contributions have roots in serendipity. Bette Nesmith poured white paint into a bottle of nail polish and invented the liquid typing error corrector, liquid paper. Bich, tired of pens that stain, created the Bic pen, applying the invention of a bohemian.

All of them dared to take risks. To discover, you have to take advantage of the fact that there is more money in the world than there is talent to make it prosper. They say that inventions and some women are the ruin of man, but the winner has the desire to make things happen.

Inside every man, there is a sleeping giant. From the simplest utensil to the modern airplane, they were born in the mind of man. But the mind is by nature wandering. Therefore, if you learn to master it, you make each life your own construction.
Innovation is not casual, preparation and effort are necessary, added to creativity. Today researchers are losing part of it in favor of utilitarianism.

Creativity, Enthusiasm and Intelligence: The role of creativity, enthusiasm and intelligence is crucial in managing serendipity. In all great inventions the creative mind always sees opportunities where others do not and contagious enthusiasm can transform reality.

Optimism and Conscious Action: Optimism plays a key role in harnessing serendipity, developing techniques to deal with unexpected situations, and understanding that responding to chance is the key to good luck. Henry Ford summed it up: “We are always right, whether we think things will go well or badly.” Let’s learn to think in a direction that increases the viability of our goals.

Conclusion: As we immerse ourselves in the fascinating world of serendipity, we discover that good luck is not a whim of fate, but the result of our ability to respond wisely and creatively to the opportunities we create or that are presented to us. By embracing serendipity, we become architects of our own destiny, transforming chance into a positive force that propels our lives toward new horizons.