Way back in 1945, a radar engineer named Percy Spencer was standing in front of a magnetron radar. Suddenly, and for seemingly no reason, the chocolate bar he had in his pocket melted, as if by magic. Curious, he got some unpopped popcorn and placed it in front of the radar. The popcorn popped! All over the room!
He was trying to make a better radar, but instead it seemed he stumbled across a machine that could magically heat objects with no burner and no fire. A light bulb went off in his head. He proceeded to perfect the technology, and his invention is something you have in your kitchen right now: the microwave oven.
In 1968 a clever guy named Spencer Silver was trying to create a new super glue that would be the world’s greatest adhesive. He failed. Miserably. As a matter of fact, his glue was so crappy you could glue something together and then easily peal it apart later. A light bulb went off in his head, and now his invention is something sitting on your desk right now: the Post-it Note.
A few years later, a team of scientists were trying to invent a new miracle pill that would lower people’s blood pressure. They tried to perfect it, but it never made the grade. It was considered a failure.
However, one of the scientists noticed that the drug had a very odd side effect. It would cause people to grow hair. A light bulb went off in his head, and now that same drug, called minoxidil, is in use all over the world. You may have heard it called by its marketing name: Rogaine.
We don’t realize how many great discoveries were made completely on accident. However! All of these discoveries were made by people striving for something and taking action. No discovery, even the accidental ones, ever happened to some guy sitting on the couch while watching American Idol and heating a Hot Pocket.
Many times in life you will surprise yourself by finding success in an area you never planned on, but this can only happen if you are actively moving towards a solid goal that motivates you.