This morning a blueberry fell to the floor from my spoon and rolled somewhere out of sight. I spent a few minutes searching before it was corralled. I was amazed to find the berry four times further away than the immediate area underfoot where I located my initial reclamation effort. The search and rescue annoyed and amazed me. If I had dropped the blueberry intentionally in hopes that it will roll away like a bouncy ball and it had just landed flat I would have been disappointed. However, I found myself aggravated because this blueberry traveled far beyond what I thought was possible.
How often do we under/over-estimate an object’s potential? Fundraising campaigns intended to raise millions fall silent despite a sophisticated marketing campaign. A blog post finds an audience even though the topic was a random observation. A passing comment at a conference spurs a new organizational strategy. Or, a single discouraging look brings us down.
Our intentions and reality rarely play on the same scale. We should anticipate serendipity, surprise, and lack of correlation. If we embrace a culture of inquiry then we might ask, ‘what else might this be,’ when unanticipated events appear. Perhaps we might spend more time preparing for a broad range of results and less time selecting the spot to place our soon to be won trophy.