EPIC FLOW

Engaging, Participating, Interacting, Creating – Fulfillment, Leadership, Organization, Wisdom

Serendipity and Synchronicity in an Epic Life

Posted by Herman Najoli on March 4, 2007

Dr. Mark J. Chironna has a little booklet titled, Tripping Over Your Treasures, that I have been reading today. He starts off by explaining the meaning of the word serendipity, saying that dreams are arrived at quite accidentally yet when one is being intentional. It may seem like a contradiction but I find this to be extremely true. When I was planning on my coming to the United States in 2001, I was very intentional about the whole process but my actual leaving of Kenya came accidentally!

I have also found that there is one more thing that contributes to the realization of dreams: synchronicity. Synchronicity is the coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related. I met my wife because of synchronicity. We had both signed up for the same elective course in college. Who would have thought that an elective course in school would bring two people together! 

The word serendipity was created by Sir Horace Walpole in 1754 after having read a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. In this tale, three sons of a King were always on their way somewhere only to bump into things accidentally on purpose that helped them along the way to their next stop. Over and over again, they kept on bumping into things that would aid their journey onward. 

As I was thinking about this, I started seeing that in my own life I have ‘bumped’ into people and things who helped me along the way. I would never have learnt about the Honor Academy in Texas had I not volunteered to go with some American missionaries to a remote village in Northern Kenya. In Texas, I met a friend who introduced me to the family that helped me move to Colorado. While in Colorado and later in Massachussets I pursued a great friendship with a stunner at Regent University. This led to our marriage in 2004. While watching an NBC Today show, we learnt about Boystown and decided to move to Nebraska. After working in Nebraska for a while I decided to pursue the dream of establishing an organization that I have carried with me for a couple of years. That’s a lot of serendipity! My moving to Cincinnati to start the organization is the piece of teh puzzle that I’m yet to find. 

The American College Dictionary defines serendipity as the faculty of making desirable but unsought-for discoveries by accident. Synchronicity on the other hand is meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained by cause and effect. Both of these words invite us to experiencing deeper lives full of meaning and richness – epic lives. 

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4 Responses to “Serendipity and Synchronicity in an Epic Life”

  1. Ronnie Ann said

    Lovely post. Ah…the things we cannot imagine that are brought into our lives. You are own story is a testament to the many new paths that arise when we open up and welcome the possibility.

  2. Found your site on Ronnie Ann’s blog. Lots of apparently great information. We are going to stumble and trip through some of your posts…great set up to your blog also.

  3. Thanks for your comments. I think that many times we miss the things that could be brought into our lives because we are too cautious. There’s an African saying that “sleeping foxes catch no poultry”. Serendipity and synchronicity both create room for us to be able to shout “Eureka” when the apple accidentally falls from the tree. Keep reading!

  4. Wonderfully placed words. Words to digest, for certain.

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