Once upon a time, the island nation of Sri Lanka was called “Serendip,” a word derived from Sanskrit which means Dwelling-Place-of-Lions. (Lovely, right?).
Serendip provides the setting for the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip”, who throughout their travels, stumbled upon an uncanny amount of luck. 🤴🏾🤴🏾🤴🏾
The story of the princes and their relationship with luck is where the wonderful word Serendipity comes from. Serendipity, meaning accidental, unexpected, random, wonderful, happy, luck.
It is luck, or rather, how to make your own luck, that is the focus of this Process Street blog.
This post embraces and explains tech entrepreneur Jason Robert’s concept of “Luck Surface Area”, in the hope of helping you, the reader, increase your luck both in life and in business.
To jump to a specific section of the post click the appropriate link below. Alternatively, just keep scrolling to learn about the three lucky princes, Luck Surface Area, and how you can make your own luck.
Feelin’ lucky? ✨
Let’s get started.
Before I dive into the Luck Surface Area model, what it means, and how you can put it into practice, let me first clarify exactly what I mean by serendipity.
You many be wondering why there is so much focus on serendipity.
Well, it’s because the ultimate goal of the Luck Surface Area approach (which we will cover later on in this post) is to:
“Increase the amount of serendipity that will occur in your life” Jason Roberts, How to Increase Your Luck Surface Area
And also because it’s a beautifully magical word. 💫
I’ll dive into the scholarly definitions and examples of “serendipity” pronto, but for now allow me to leave you with my understanding of the term: Serendipity is when you make happy and unexpected discoveries by accident.
… and tell you a story. 📚
The Three Princes of Serendip: A summary
As I previously mentioned, the word serendipity was inspired by a fairy tale concerning three Persian princes.
Roughly 720 years ago a Persian storyteller first told the tale “The Three Princes of Serendip“.
In the story, the three princes were the sons of King Jafer, the philosopher-king of Serendip and ruler of the Sassanid Empire from 420 – 440AD. King Jafer had seen to it that his three sons received the best education possible from the wisest men in the entire kingdom. Upon completing their schooling, the king wanted his sons to gain real-life experiences to complement their existing education.
So, King Jafer sent the three princes off to travel and learn the ways of the world and the customs of their people.
Be it by accident or sagacity, as their Highnesses traveled they forever stumbled upon things that they were not in search of. An example of this is the tale of the blind mule or camel as it is sometimes interpreted: The princes discovered that a camel, which had a blind right eye, had traveled the same road recently because the grass was only eaten on the left side. 🐫
This is just one instance within the fairy tale whereby the princes discovered something that they had not been in quest of. It is the nature of these discoveries that sparked the writer Horace Walpole’s intrigue in the story in the year 1754.
It is also what later led him to first coin andContinue reading