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10 extraordinary and life-changing incidents that changed people's lives for the better

Ten individuals recount unique moments that unexpectedly altered their lives for the better, celebrating the power of chance.

10 extraordinary and life-changing incidents that changed people's lives for the better
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Engin Akyurt

Life-changing events

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Chinmay Singh
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Chinmay Singh

Life can be very surprising. Sometimes the most routine incidents can turn out to be life-changing. Most individuals do not realize what they are in for and only realize it later. These life-changing events can completely alter a person's life and they will probably never see it coming. u/NoFile9376 asked people on the site, "What happened by a total accident but changed your life completely?" Here are 10 of the most interesting stories that people have to offer.

1. Accidentally accepting a friend request

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Stone
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Stone

Accidentally accepted a friend request of (my now husband) thinking it was another guy I knew with a similar name. I was ignoring the request before. And the rest is history. Married 12 years now with two kids. The website was Orkut. If any of you are old enough to remember it. u/zenzephyr42. I went to a couple's wedding with the same story. She thought he was a friend from her class but he wasn't. They chatted a little bit but they stopped talking. Two years later he started messaging her again and she decided to give him a chance because they had mutual friends and they were encouraging her saying he was really funny. Now they just had a baby girl. u/Intelligent_Delay482

2. Mentioning a comic they were writing

Representative Image Source: Pexels | George Pak
Representative Image Source: Pexels | George Pak

Went for a coffee with a friend before he went out to pitch a TV show in LA. He asked what I was up to and I mentioned the comic book I was planning to write. His pitch went well and the studio asked if he had any sci-fi ideas. He pitched my idea and a month later I was in LA with a bunch of agents and managers wanting to sign me. u/MikeSizemore. Congratulations. Not as exciting, but I was struggling to find a local job and mentioned it to my hairdresser. The next day I got a call from my hairdresser because one of her clients was looking for someone. Crazy how things line up sometimes. u/followthedarkrabbit

3. Water main bursting

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Eberhard Grossgasteiger
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Eberhard Grossgasteiger

The water main leading into the house burst, requiring the contractors to lay a new pipe from the street into the first floor. I had to clear everything out, and then go get jugged water to last a week for a family of 4. I asked to take the afternoon off work so I could take care of this, and they said it would be a write-up for an unexcused absence. This pissed me off to no end because I had recouped hundreds of thousands of dollars that my predecessor had lost, and generally unf***** their processes. Not really intending to quit, I rage applied to jobs just to blow off steam and landed a new job with a $30,000 pay boost, WFH, and complete schedule flexibility. u/pinelands1901

4. Backpacking across the east coast of Africa

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Oziel Gómez
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Oziel Gómez

Solo backpacking down the east coast of Africa. After several months I met this guy called Madi in Dar es Salaam in the street and we struck up a conversation. He offered me a free ferry ticket to Zanzibar as for some reason he could no longer go; this was somewhere I’d wanted to go to but wasn’t really in my budget. This was like a five-minute conversation and I never saw Madi again, but he gave me the ferry ticket. The first person I met at the youth hostel in Zanzibar was a girl from my home country (NZ). She had lost her confidence in solo traveling a bit after being robbed in Mombasa a few days earlier. Offered to stick with her for a few days while she got back on her feet. Never thought I had any kind of chance with her as she was sooooo out of my league in every conceivable way. I was just happy to explore the island and be the friend of such a beautiful and interesting girl. Last January was our 25th wedding anniversary and our son recently turned 22. Thanks, Madi. u/DaveFoucault

5. Faulty medical diagnosis 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

When I was younger I had a neurological condition called hydrocephalus, which required me to have a shunt in my brain to keep me alive, and every few years it would break or get infected and have to be replaced. About 20 years ago I developed an infection that my neurosurgeon refused to take seriously, so it wasn't properly diagnosed for about two years after I moved away from that hospital and ended up in the ER. Long story short, thanks to some faulty medical equipment that by some weird coincidence wasn't doing its job properly, while I waited for surgery we discovered that I wasn't actually using my shunt and I didn't need it anymore. So surgery was cancelled and once the infection cleared up I was sent home. It was a really really awful couple of years, but it ultimately gave me my life back. I'm now 15 years surgery-free and as much as I hate the way it happened, I wouldn't change a thing because if it had happened any other way I would have just had another brain surgery, and then another, and so on. u/NotAngryAndBitter

6. Went into a cabin thinking it was empty

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Eneida Nieves
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Eneida Nieves

Working in a large state park as a guide/docent while finishing up my geology degree. Was only interested in science. Talking about rock types and tectonics and whatnot. It got cold and windy FAST, and snow started coming down and soaking my clothes. I admittedly was not prepared and ducked into a cabin I came across that I thought would be empty. It wasn’t. There was a historical interpreter doing traditional chair seat weaving in the cabin. Fire in the hearth and all. He said, “Take your shoes off and stay a while.” Let’s just say “multiple” years later, I own one of the most respected furniture restoration businesses in the state and specialize in antique Appalachian rockers. Visit the old man in the nursing home weekly. I go out to the cabin once a month or so to relax and demonstrate to passersby. Took my shoes off and stayed a while. P.S. Geology is still cool. u/Most-Cow-2474

7. Feeding a homeless friend

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Timur Weber
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Timur Weber

I was planning to spend $2.49 on a breakfast sandwich and go home to do some chores. They had a 2 for $3 breakfast sandwich deal. I brought the 51-cent bonus sandwich to a homeless friend. He had a tiny stray puppy following him around and asked me to bring her to the shelter because he couldn't feed her and himself. She became my best friend for 13 1/2 years! I'll love you and miss you forever baby dog!! u/JensElectricWood

8. Brother dating a girl 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andre Furtado
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andre Furtado

My brother asked out a girl when they were 17. My brother started dating this random girl. He needed a job so he started working at the company where her family worked. Next year I needed a summer job so they got me a job at the same company. I liked the job and kept working at the company long after my brother and her broke up. At 21 took a job in another state to further that career and moved 700 miles away from home. Now my partner, all my friends, my hobbies, everything that is my adult life is because of that move. My brother randomly dating a girl for a year when we were teens changed literally everything about my life. u/ColSurge

9. Conversation with a professor

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yan Krukau
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yan Krukau

Almost failed out of college. Tried to up my GPA by doing research WAY too early in my academic career. Met a professor who didn’t even work at my Uni. Had a brief conversation with him in the lab and he said “You’d make a great professor one day”. Changed the course of my life. Scraped by with my BS. Was one of the top students in my MS. Got a 4.0 for my PhD with several first-author papers. Now work for one of the top profs in my field, I’m talking top 3%. That conversation was over 10 years ago. Thank you, Dmitry. I would’ve never met you if I wasn’t failing. u/yagottamove

10. A friend's passing away

Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project
Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project

A good friend of mine was struck by a car and killed. This allowed me to look at my life with a new perspective: if I was hit by a car and killed, would I be happy with what I did with my life? The answer was “no”. So I sold everything I owned and moved across the country to New York City with three suitcases. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m so much happier, I’ve met the love of my life, and the only regret I have is wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. u/IamChicharon

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