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The Princes of Serendip Remix

By       Message maurice nobert       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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(Vision, Insight, Path, Impetus)

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Serendipty -- noun--Unexpected good fortune, the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for, the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way, a natural gift for making useful discoveries by accident, the lucky tendency to find interesting or valuable things by chance.

The word serendipity derives from a story, The Three Princes of Serendip, first published in 1557 in Venice by an enterprising printer called Michele Tramezzinoby. The slightly modified version of the story with which we shall concern ourselves is the story of 3 princes who are sent out by their father the King to seek their fortune. They ride off in different directions with open hearts, high confidence and great anticipation. Each encounters various challenges and each eventually finds good fortune in the form of princesses, kingdoms and riches in wholly unexpected ways.

Unfortunately, unreported in the story was the fact that at the same time there were thousands of other princes, not from the Kingdom of Serendip, sent out by their own fathers to seek their own fame and fortune, with similarly open hearts, high confidence and great anticipation, who fared not nearly so well. As they traveled their own paths, sooner or later, after much progress or little, in dramatic ways or subtle, each stopped progressing, having become enmeshed in invisible, sticky, impediments. Some princes lost their way early on in their journey, sometimes in spectacular fashion. Sometimes these impediments were so subtle that some of our princes who had already traveled far were wholly unaware that they were at all encumbered. These princes settled down where they had stopped, sometimes proud and happy with how far they had come, blissfully unaware that their ultimate potential destination had not been reached. Others who had traveled equally far were only vaguely aware of the source of a nagging dissatisfaction with their accomplishments.

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Some of these princes, without any of the statistically anomalous luck enjoyed by their serendipitous brethren, made their way home with equally fabulous riches, fame and princesses. For in addition to open hearts, high confidence and great anticipation they each had other gifts that enabled their success. Happily, each left these gifts to their own children who, each and every one, went on to complete successful journeys of their own.

Less happily, all but one of the progeny of the three Princes of Serendip came to a bad end while waiting for thunderous good fortune to strike once again. The last son of the last Prince of Serendip had watched all of his brothers and sisters and cousins either rush off blithely to their doom or waste away in self-satisfied idleness squandering their inheritance on Picketh IV tickets.

This Son of Serendip decided to find a way to make his own luck. He decided to study the paths of other princes and princesses and find the secrets of self-created serendipity.

Vision -- A clear idea of where you want to go

The prince left the kingdom, disguised himself as a lowly scribe and offered to act as a chronicler to other princes from other kingdoms as they set out on their own quests. The first prince that took up his offer was Prince Myop.

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Prince Myop was brilliant, fearless, handsome and strong. He said, "Come Scribe, chronicle my victories as I make my fortune." They made their way out of town where he grabbed Prince Seren by the arm. "Look, Scribe, a damsel being harried by scoundrels; prepare to document my first glory." After bravely chasing a group of drunken farm boys away from a milk maid and accepting her lukewarm thanks, he looked up and pointed to bear clawing a tree in a wood. Charging at the bear with a bloodcurdling scream he fearlessly engaged it in battle for a goodly time matching the bear strength for strength, speed for speed and ferocity for ferocity before the bear turned and ran. Never had Prince Seren seen the match of skill, strength and courage. While catching his breath Prince Myop spied a magnificent stag further into the forest and gave chase. After killing the stag he hoist it onto his shoulders and looked up when he caught sight of a band of outlaws carrying bags of ill-gotten gain. Dropping the stag, he confronted them and fighting like a fearless demon he dispatched all 12 in a trice. Finding that the thieves' spoils were composed of corn meal, chickens and a small pig, he let the pig and the chickens go, left the meal in the clearing and ran down a nearby forest path at a dizzying speed. The path led through a dangerous swamp where Prince Myop bravely fended off alligators and snakes while carrying "the scribe" on his shoulders. Just before nightfall, when their strength was failing them and they thought they would die of thirst, the swamp transitioned into a pleasant wood. Following a path in the last light they came to the rear of a large estate. Joyfully they rushed to the gate and called for entrance where they were welcomed back into Prince Myop's castle from whence they had left that morning.

Insight -- A clear idea of where you are

Prince Seren left Prince Myop's castle the next day in low spirits. If such a man with such strengths could struggle and fail so quickly, what could he possibly learn that would enable him to succeed?

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Maurice Nobert lives in Shaker Hts, Ohio. He has 5 children and 1 grandchild. He is a managing partner in SixthSense Partners, an analytically focused management consulting firm.

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