To Ponder: A Seeming Coincidence?
I’m always amused by the beautiful coincidences that occur in life. Little things like finding out that a friend has the exact same car as you – only after you bought yours. Or larger ones, like starting my own career in the exact same building that my own grandfather did 50+ years ago. (Added bonus, I was born on this same grandfather’s birthday! How’s that for a life-echo!)
But I want to share this week’s amusing coincidence with you.
I have an app that serves me up a stoic quote every morning. I am drawn to stoic philosophy, and often these little bursts of dry, direct wisdom are brilliant at keeping me going.
Well, in a week where so many of my recent client conversations have been about change resistance – this is what the app served me:
“Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed?
Can’t you see? It’s just the same with you—and just as vital to nature.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
I mean, that, in and of itself is some timely wisdom given the time of year.
Now, I love coincidences, not because I subscribe to the idea of fate, but rather because I’m amazed by the power and deception within our own minds.
Coincidences are often just the Baader Meinhof Phenomenon at play. Also known as frequency illusion – the Baader Meinhof Phenomenon is when when you see, buy or learn something new and suddenly you see it everywhere. It’s not that the frequency of that thing changed – but rather your attention to it.
Returning to the story of myself and my grandfather. There are uncountable amounts of diversion and dissimilarity between our lives – yet it’s the small overlaps that seem to stand out as ‘uncanny’.
So, here’s your stretch question to ponder over this coming end-of-year break:
How can you harness frequency illusion (aka seeming coincidence) to your benefit in your change in the new year?
Here’s a hint: it needs a degree of ‘uncanny’, ‘common ground’ and needs to feel ‘personal’.