Skip to main content

Happy Accidents -- Writer's Poke #437






Serendipity, by definition, implies “happy little accidents,” and no one plans for accidents, right? Accidents, by definition, just happen.

The serendipity of success, however, isn’t quite as accidental as it may seem. Success may be serendipitous, but if it is, most of the time there’s an underlying element of planning involved.
 
Successful people, in other words, work to be successful. They plan to be successful; they are motivated to be successful. Could someone accidently trip over success? Perhaps, but how likely is it that such success is long-lasting? Not very likely, I would say.

So how did the painter Bob Ross have so many “happy little accidents?” He had them by actively painting. He wasn’t seeking mistakes, but if he made them, he turned them into opportunities. Some people might immediately stop painting and start over with a new canvas. Ross didn’t. He simply incorporated the mistake into the painting, and the painting was inevitably all the better for it. 

This is a life lesson we could all benefit studying. First, be active. Second, learn from your mistakes. Third, appreciate the mistakes, and incorporate them into your success.

 What happy accidents have you learned from lately?

“Any time ya learn, ya gain.” – Bob Ross

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe -- Caledonia, Minnesota


I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …

Summer Day Trip #3: Jackson, Minnesota

Some time ago in the spring, I found out that David Ellefson, bass player and co-founder of Megadeth, was rebranding the coffee shop in Jackson, Minnesota. Every so often I would tell Linda that I planned to drive over there to check it out, but the morning that I actually decided to drive over there to check it out, I think I surprised her. I’m not sure she thought I would ever do it.
“What else are you going to do over there?”
“Oh, that’s it. Just drive over there, order a cup of coffee, and drive home.”
I had checked out Jackson on Tripadvisor, and honestly, Jackson seemed like it didn’t have much going on. My mind map of southwestern Minnesota was mainly a blank. I knew that I-90 drove through, but I thought perhaps the interstate was a metaphor: Beware ye who enter here, lest ye be on your way to somewhere else.
When I told Tavi we were driving two hours to visit a coffee shop, the idea didn’t seem far-fetched to her. She only had one question, “Do they serve hot cocoa?” I promised …