Major scientific breakthroughs can be ascribed to serendipity. There’s penicillin, first noticed by microbiologist Alexander Fleming when one of his petri dishes had a spot where bacteria wouldn’t grow. Or microwave ovens, which use technology originally developed for radar systems during WWII.
And I recently finished reading Michael Pollan’s book How To Change Your Mind
, which chronicles the chance discovery of LSD. Long story short: Scientist Accidentally Sticks Finger in Mouth. Has Wild Afternoon.
To experience this kind of breakthrough, you need an open mind. And
a willingness to change it.
But allowing yourself to deviate from the path you’re on can be difficult. Especially if you’re like me and prefer working in a structured and deliberate way.