Or the Role of Fate In Your Personal Growth
You may not know what synchronicity is, but you’ve definitely experienced it. Say you’ve been thinking about calling your mother and the phone rings. Surprise! It’s her just checking in. Or maybe you’re craving pizza all day to come home to the luscious aroma of melty cheese and spicy pepperoni wafting from the takeout box on the kitchen countertop. Maybe you’re toying with the idea of applying for a new job or taking on a new career entirely over your morning coffee and the guest on the morning show that’s playing on TV is speaking about how she did just that and it changed her life forever!
That’s synchronicity in its most simplified form. Many people get it confused with coincidence, but it can be much more powerful and have truly life-altering consequences if you know how to spot it.
What is Synchronicity?
The OED defines synchronicity as “the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.”
It was the Swedish psychologist Carl Jung who came up with the word after pondering the phenomenon of acausal parallelism. (Synchronicity has a better ring, don’t you think?) Young, who was closely associated with the controversial sex-obsessed Sigmund Freud, believed that these events—even though seemingly random—had deep-seated, powerful meaning.
Indeed, Jung believed that synchronicity was not left to chance alone and that the inner workings of a person’s mind played a role in either the manifestation or the realization of those “coincidental” events. The man placed so much weight on these milestones that he believed synchronicities could provide insight, direction, and guidance for those who recognize them.
Jung spotted these events himself—even during the treatment of his patients—and ascribed significant meaning to them. Indeed, in one anecdotal attribution, Jung describes a seemingly random occurrence in which a woman’s dreams coincided with the improbable appearance of an extremely rare insect!
“Shortly after, the woman began describing a significant dream of a golden scarab (a costly piece of jewelry). As she was describing this beetle in more depth, Jung heard a tapping at the window behind him. He opened the window and revealed a live goldish-green scarab beetle, not native to the area.”Arts of Thought
My Personal Experience with Synchronicity
Since I became aware of the phenomenon of synchronicity—albeit through the mind-bending Matrix movies and other pop culture sources—I have spotted far too many to recount here. However, there have been several Big Ones that really made me stop and take stock of my situation, my personal life, and my career. The following story is true—although it seems to coincidental to be so—and represents a string of synchronicities that shook me out of a professional funk into which I’d fallen and spurred me into action.
I was walking through Target one day on a mission to find something else entirely when I decided to browse through the books—something I often do anyway. This day I so happened to stop at the self-help section (which I never do because most of those books or smoke and hokum) when I spotted a copy of Jen Sincero’s “You are a Baddass at Making Money: Master the mindset of Wealth.” It was 20% off so I took the bait and bought the book.
The next day, I was sitting on the couch reading how your mindset could really affect your income because of your spiritual/quantum connection/entanglement with what Sincero calls the Universal Intelligence. At the time, it was sounding like a bunch of New Age hippy-dippy hooey to me–Think and Grow Rich sort of stuff. However, I had previously been exposed to the Unified Field Theory in physics (via the works of researcher Graham Hancock) so the possibility that Sincero was onto something itched at the back of my skull.
There I was vacillating between belief and disbelief, the TV babbling in the background, when I paused to collect my thoughts and Tamron Hall was interviewing Maria Failla—a Broadway performer who had her career cut short by Covid Lockdowns and turned her passion for growing houseplants into a lucrative business and bustling online community via her podcast series Bloom & Grow Radio.
Kinda spooky that I just happened to look up when this lady was describing how the synchronicity of her Broadway show being cancelled corresponded with her renewed interest in growing healthy houseplants. I still wasn’t convinced though.
I went back to reading only to look up a few minutes later when Tamron was interviewing Javiera Montoya, a former corporate financier who left a seven-figure salary to pursue her passion career baking bread! Of course, she turned that career into a money-maker as well, getting feature placement in The Huffington Post, getting on television shows, on television shows,
Here this woman was, telling the world how she faced adversity from co-workers, friends, and families to embrace this new passion project and change her life forever.
I was—in a word—shocked. So much so that a little giggle escaped my lips.
What were the odds that I would be reading a self-help book about being courageous enough to make the sort of money I wanted and deserved doing something I was good at and passionate about at the same time as two people who had trod that path before me were being featured on National Television in My living room? (Keep in mind, 9 times out of 10 when I’m home alone the television is off.)
This synchronicity was just too powerful for me to ignore!
I’m not saying that I believe the Universal Intelligence Sincero writes about beamed Tamron Hall into my living room so I would take the first steps on this new personal, professional, and financial journey. However, like Fox Mulder is fond of saying, I want to believe.
The Key to Profiting From Synchronicity
“Synchronicity is an ever-present reality for those who have eyes to see.”Carl Jung
As life-changing synchronicity can be, most of us simply coast through life without even noticing these events. If we do notice them, we often chalk them up as curiosities and make jokes about “living in the Matrix, man.”
This habit adds no value to our lives other than entertainment. With a little practice, you can profit (personally, emotionally, professionally, even financially) from synchronicities but you have to recognize them first.
You can train yourself to be open to these synchronicities and spot them when they occur. It feels a bit weird and the first time or two—like you’re stepping into the twilight zone or embracing some Eastern philosophy founded by a bearded guy sat atop a mountain. However, once you get over the spookiness (or the goofiness) of the situations, you can then analyze the individual synchronicities and how they could possibly apply to your life, your personal journey, and your career aspirations.
The first step is pausing and acknowledging even small acausal parallelisms. Believe me, they’ll get easier to spot when you do.
Tracking Fate’s Footprints
Jonah Calinawan, a self-described accountant, artists, and mythologist, is a proponent of the power of synchronicity and began tracking these coincidental events he experienced in his life (with bar charts and everything!)
Not only has he spotted multiple “small synchronicities,” (some of which he classifies as “interesting & strange”) but also several “life-changing” examples including meeting his partner of 22 years, how a dream led him to pursue a Ph.D., how a chance meeting with a stranger led to a career that lasted 15 years until he decided to give it up to become a fulltime artist.
I’m not saying you must break out the spreadsheets to keep track of the synchronicities in your life (unless you want to), but at the very least you should be open to them, aware of them, and analyze them when they occur. If you want, take it a step further and keep a daily journal. Note down when these synchronicities happen and what you think they mean at the time.
Here’s to Getting a Little Spooky
I’ll admit, I’ve been a conspiracy theorist for years. I love the debate around UFOs, alien visitation, ancient civilizations, and all that weird stuff that falls outside the norm. Hell, I wanted to be Fox Mulder and even went so far as to dress like an FBI agent for a while in high school (who needs friends, right?)
It’s through this lifelong investigation—for the lack of a better word—that I’ve come across actual science in the fields of neurobiology, physics, electromagnetism, psychology, and various other fields that actually support the theory that there’s some sort of extrasensory “paranormal” universal binding agent surrounding us all (like Master Yoda’s explanation of The Force). We’re talking heavy hitters in their fields like Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Neil deGrasse Tyson, CIA Interrogator Cleve Backster, Stanford scientist Russel Targ, and many more who have produced real, measurable results pointing at “spooky” influences on the real world around us.
If plant’s can somehow tell what you’re thinking, if coincidence isn’t just coincidence, if your perception of reality is really limited by your brain and not your senses, then who is to say that opening your mind to the possibility of breaking out of your shell, diving head-first into new roles, and making more money than you ever thought possible isn’t a key component of actually making it happen?