Synchronicities and serendipity

First: what is synchronicity? The dictionary on my MacBook Pro says “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.”

What is serendipity? “…a propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated.”

I clearly remember a time when I didn’t believe in synchronicity or serendipity.

Now they are part of my life.

Over the last 10 years I have kept a journal/diary. I focused on logging synchronicities and serendipitous moments. As a result I have written 420,000 words of journal entries.

Every so often I browse through these journals and pull out some of my favourites.

Here are some of them…

On April 8 2010 I remembered the track Madame Butterfly by Malcolm McLaren. I hadn’t thought of this track for many years but I remember enjoying listening to the album Fans which it came from in the early 80s. The next day I loaded the Spotify app on my Mac to play it, and on the 10th I played it at breakfast for my family to hear. I went to wikipedia to look him up to find something interesting to share about him with my family – only to find that he had died on April 8, the day I first thought of him. As we live in Abu Dhabi now I couldn’t have picked up the news from, say, a headline in a newspaper caught out of the corner of my eye, or a very quiet radio broadcast.

June 2010: As I was dropping off to sleep last night, I thought that I must google some software to add a watermark to some images I plan to upload to google maps for this town, so they show my new website in the bottom right, which gets viewers to my site who may turn into clients or friends. This morning I got an email offering iWatermark for half price: $10. So I bought it: it’s just what I wanted.

December 2010: I had the thought to see if there was an app for my iPad which would show a fire burning in a grate. 10 minutes later I checked the RSS feeds I get from to discover that an app offering just that was free for today only. I downloaded it.


Tuesday, Feb 26 02: I had rung Nancy Dreyfus last Friday night to get a testimonial for Hale Dwoskin’s Happiness Is Free books which I was promoting to my customers, but she was going in with a client, but she mentioned that she was into John Barnes and his Myco Facial Release technique. Today in New Frontiers a big guy called Richard smiled at me, we started to talk and he told me he was on an MFR seminar. Minutes later I opened the Utne Reader magazine and looked at an article on blockbuster ideas and there was a section on communicating with cards, talking about Nancy Dreyfus’s Talk to Me Like Someone You Love cards. Amazing!


Sunday, Aug 18 02: Went to Chatsworth Hall with my mum and dad… I took Toby to the toilet [it was the day before his first birthday] and we passed Patrick the organ grinder. As he finished a song I asked him to play That’s Amore. “Are you psychic?”, he asked. “That’s the next song I’ve lined up to put on”. He had a suitcase with maybe 50 tunes in it. He added: “Can you predict the lottery winners for me for next week?”


March 21 02: I was looking through a sales letter from America and noticed that each alternate line of the bulleted points was in bold and in blue, and I had never noticed that before as an idea. A few minutes later I got into my car to drive home. I was thinking about looking for more miracles to write in my diary tonight. During the car journey I listened to a copyrighting course on tape from Gary Halbert and he said on the tape that what he does is make every alternate bulleted point bold and in blue. Amazing.


Thursday, Feb 28 08 [I read in a newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, I think…] Police looked at a file of a murder from 38 years ago and days later decorators find a briefcase in a dead man’s house with a confession over 9 pages to that murder. The police were amazed.

David Hughes, Managing Director of Nightingale-Contant in the UK, rang me to say that he was sitting outside a café in Florida, and got talking to the guy on the next table whose name turned out to be Mike. David told Mike what he did for a living, and Mike suddenly asked, “Do you know Chris Payne?” It turned out Mike was Mike Dooley who I had met, corresponded with, and interviewed for my subscription newsletter and accompanying CD a few months before!