# 599 Innovative Leader Volume 13,
Number 4 April 2004
Serendipity Needs Fertile Ground
by Krista Henley, M.A., LMFT
Henley’s company, Inside-Out Communications, provides customized
executive and team leadership coaching programs (email@example.com).
The power of the mind to aid in healing has been scientifically
studied and validated broadly enough now to be beyond question.
This article explains how the power of the mind is equally
important when envisioning your business goals and strategies if
you are to achieve serendipity and good luck consistently.
good luck (or a charmed life) are not accidents of good fortune
or mere chance. Each of us can prepare ourselves internally to
create the fertile ground that allows serendipity to work its
miracle. As the New Year begins, consider cultivating your own
fertile ground for good luck, and notice where you need to focus
your time and attention to allow success to flow through and to
kind of fertile ground has four components: First, you can
cultivate internal preparation and calm through mindfulness.
Second, fertile ground requires that you have passion for a
dream or outcome that you clearly envision, making it ripe for
manifestation. Third, fertile ground requires a serious
inventory of your strengths and weaknesses as a human being, so
that blind spots, belief systems, and unconscious behaviors are
ruthlessly uncovered. Fourth, fertile ground requires that you
be able to let go of your ego’s concerns, issues, and dramas in
favor of quiet acceptance and a release of the ego and the
sabotaging acts that are its hallmark.
(internal preparation) and passion (fire for your
dreams/vision), self-knowledge (ego awareness), and the release
of the ego (acceptance) create the learning edges and opposing
forces that allow serendipity to emerge. As one attempts to
achieve balance through these opposite forces, positive life
force and authenticity replace confusion and unconscious
The first two
opposing forces, mindfulness and passion, create an internal
dance that is fun to explore and the benefits are amazing.
Imagine, if you really take the time to be quiet, to meditate,
and to listen to the wisdom of your higher self. You take the
time to relax, to empty your mind and to trust the stillness.
After a while, you begin to see or hear messages from your
higher and wiser self that cut through some of the chatter that
you know is irrelevant in the bigger picture of your life.
also arises from a fiercely connected inner state, defines you,
your gifts and your goals. Many people understand erotic
passion because it is so compelling and it sends us into an
altered state. Business passion is equally intense, when your
vision drives you toward a goal that is compelling and
mind, through mindful meditation, allows passion to erupt from
the stillness. The razor’s edge between these two opposing
forces, quiet and passion, is the place where serendipity has a
chance to emerge. Perhaps your vision is not clear, and your
efforts toward meditation tend to result in more mind chatter.
However, one day, after meditating and asking your higher self
to reveal your passion and goals, you have a chance encounter
with a colleague who describes a new venture, and you get a
funny feeling in your gut. Serendipity is calling to you to be
awake to notice the gift that is being presented in the form of
an idea or new venture.
As you pursue this idea, the doors open easily and you are
pulled into more and more clarity. In spite of the doubt that
you had while working on the mindfulness and passion, you are
rewarded by good fortune that looks like luck, but is born of
hard work and the dance on the razor’s edge between the quiet
and the fire.
contradictory forces that allow serendipity to evolve are the
development of ego awareness and the ability to let go of the
It is vital in
business to “know thyself.” There are countless management
books and style indicators to facilitate self-knowledge on the
job. Understanding the impact of your behavior on others, and
the perceptions that you create, is an effective shortcut to
learning about your ego drives, unconscious motivators, and
belief systems. Examining these ego drives and their origins is
a powerful tool that allows you to learn more and more about
yourself. In my work with executives, this is the foundational
step that is often ignored, as the ego is often the sabotaging
element in an otherwise well rounded vision and leadership
awareness and understanding, comes the need to develop the
opposite skill: letting go of the ego and accepting “what is.”
The ego typically strives to understand the world in order to
control outcomes through best guesses and assumptions. Letting
go of the ego involves trust and a deeper awareness that, in the
end, we have no direct control over outcomes and must accept
life on its own terms. It is very difficult to know who you are
and why you are that person, and then to simultaneously let go
of these definitions in favor of “not knowing.” This is the
Buddhist perspective of an empty mind and an open heart. In
this process, it is important to dissolve individual concerns
and the self in favor of the universal concept that we are all
connected in spirit, and our individual needs are often
limitations in the broader perspective that is inclusive and all
oneself and the ego, and letting go of the ego, becomes the
tension between opposing forces that again allows you to notice
serendipity, and opportunities that appear to be seized. The
hard work that you do to understand these forces, is well worth
the effort when you both know and accept yourself, and your life
will improve as a result.
fertile ground is the work of true leaders in any business
capacity. A leader must till the soil with mindfulness, till
the soil with passion and a clear vision, till the soil with
self-discovery and knowledge, and till the soil with acceptance
and with the awareness and trust that he or she is part of a
much bigger picture. As outlined above, serendipity and “good
luck” come from the effort to create balance between opposing
forces. This requires a mind that is focused and clear about
the four areas of internal preparation for leadership success.
Enjoy the process -- and the fruits of your labor.