A life of Chance or Intent

Things rarely happen by chance.

In 1929, Sir Alexander Fleming (a bacteriologist) cleaned up his laboratory and went on vacation.

When he returned, he discovered that a petri dish with some sort of bacteria had been left uncovered and had formed a kind of mold. This mold that was growing had subsequently killed the bacteria.

Not long after that, he used this discovery on a few small animals. It successfully killed many bacteria in a safe manner, with no side effects to the animals.

A few years later, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain used this discovery made by Fleming and created a medicine which we now know as Penicillin.

By chance came something that has aided the world to treat bacterial infections by helping people’s immune systems.

Fleming never set out to create this cure. It might have happened by chance, but it was driven by intent thereafter.

Bringing about a difference will rarely come by chance

Now, while something great happened by chance, how much more satisfying wouldn’t it have been for Sir Alexander had he set out to intentionally make this discovery?

It doesn’t take away from what he discovered that day, but it remains that by mere chance he discovered this breakthrough. An argument could be made that had he done something different that day we would never have had antibiotics today.

This is how I see so many of us living our lives – like Alexander Fleming coming back from vacation, hoping to find change. We leave so much up to chance within our lives.

By chance, we hope to get that promotion or become a source of inspiration to those around us. By chance, we hope to leave behind a life of significance, being remembered by family, friends and the community around us.

We want things to happen within our lives but rarely get up to go out and do it. I want to get fit but fail to get up from off the couch and perhaps take the dog for a walk. I want to build lasting relationships but fail to reach out or follow up with the ones I want to build a relationship with.

These things can only be changed by becoming intentional about it.

Chances are that if you leave things up to chance, you are going to miss what should have happen with intent.

Perhaps the reason so many of us are unwilling to live intentionally is because that would mean facing or owning up to our many failures. So, we choose to leave everything up to chance, hoping that it will all work out in our favour at the end.

Of course, most of us are not going to end up being a Sir Alexander Fleming.

Although we might hope to be like Fleming, most of us are likely going to be like Thomas Edison, who had failed a 1000 times before successfully creating the light bulb, or like Abraham Lincoln, who had failed at different things numerous times (including various elections) before being elected as one of the greatest president of the U.S.

The truth is that change won’t come if we choose to live life by chance; it happens when we choose to become intentional, working our way towards a desired goal.

Through intent, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain picked up from where Alexander Fleming left off and set out to make the final discovery for penicillin that would help mankind today.

It’s easier to leave things to chance; it is an entirely different ballgame taking on things with intent.

While so many of these stories leave us inspired, helping us to realize that it’s ok to fail, you still need to get up and take on life with intent.

Many believe that you have to leave it up to chance to be that someone who makes a worthwhile contribution to society.

Yet, many great men and women were the ones who chose not to leave things up to chance but took life on with intent.

Along their way there would be many failures, heartaches and pain; but because of their sheer intentional determination they became the ones who managed to rise above it all, becoming the ones so many of us take note of today.

So what am I trying to say to you?

If you’re expecting life (or anything of great significance) to happen to you by chance, you might be waiting for nothing to take place. There is a chance something might happen, but there is also a chance that something might not.

I guess you will have to leave that up to chance….

If, however you choose to be intentional about life, setting out to do something or become someone, you stand a greater chance of something happening in your life.

Become intentional about your life today.


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