Imagine walking into a library with books randomly strewn on a table waiting for sorting. You pick up a book, say Harry Potter, and begin to read a few paragraphs. Then you close it and randomly pick up another, say Silverview by Jean Lecarre. You read a page or two and then open a third book, say Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. Now you try to string together these three pieces of writing you read, and to make meaning of the combined narrative. Clearly there is no meaning. Each was written by a different author with different intentions. You just happened to randomly select these three and read a randomly chosen piece from each. The randomness of the pieces you read is precisely why there is no meaning in sequencing them.
Conversely, when reading a single coherent work, meaning emerges from the diverse sections. Even different scenes played out by different characters in the same book will present a coherent narrative. The presence of a single author, who purposefully crafted each word and scene, ensures a thread of connectedness, creating an integrated story from carefully curated elements.
Our lives can be seen as authored, not by random chance, but by a higher power authoring with intent.
Likewise, our lives can be seen as authored, not by random chance, but by a higher power authoring with intent. This higher force orchestrates encounters, experiences, and the information we consume, so that a narrative can be woven from seemingly disparate events in our lives. Just as a book is divided into sections and chapters, life’s decades, years, weeks, and days form volumes, sections, chapters, and pages. By perusing the pages of our existence, we may find meaning in the sequence of events, experiences, and thoughts inscribed in our own book of life.
In this perspective, life becomes a co-authored masterpiece. The higher force creates opportunities and intersections, while our role as co-authors involves structuring and finding meaning in our unfolding story. Through this process, profound lessons, patterns, and new ideas emerge. Journaling often serves as the tool to uncover these stories, revealing connections between seemingly unrelated events that were orchestrated by a higher force. Just as multiple characters and scenes are used to tell a coherent story in a book, the curated events and experiences in our lives come together to form an integrated narrative.
This is really the meaning of coincidence. Two or more seemingly unrelated experiences coinciding against all the odds, to create a meaningful event. If we see coincidences as totally random, then any meaning in them is only a figment of our imagination. But, if we choose to see our lives as authored by a higher force, then these coincidences are not coincidental at all. They are intentional intersections of events in which we, as coauthors of our lives, can find meaning.
Everyone in your life is a book. Rich in texture, intriguing in narrative and overflowing with lessons for life.
The beauty of this way of living is that you come to realize that everyone in your life is a book. Rich in texture, intriguing in narrative and overflowing with lessons for life. We all live in a library of seven billion fascinating books, each an original, each unique, each waiting to be opened and read. Ask anyone you meet to tell you something about their stories, and an illuminating adventure begins. The Talmud says a wise person is one who learns from every individual.
The fundamental question is whether one believes life to be a mere sequence of random coincidences or an intentional curation of events. For those who view life as random, making sense of coincidences may seem futile. However, for those who see an intentional author behind life’s events, finding meaning in the unfolding story becomes the most profound way to understand existence.
Life, like a well-crafted book, becomes a story of intention, depth, and profound meaning.
Some of the most exciting phases of the Lapin coaching sessions we have with our clients, are when our clients share the story of their lives. We usually ask them to begin the story with their grandparents, both paternal and maternal, and to continue the story until the present day. The excitement to both coach and client is the emergence of beautiful patterns of meaning from their stories. It is in the pages of the story of their lives that their authentic value drivers, those values which have shaped them to be the person they are, and their true purpose of existence, come to life. Life, like a well-crafted book, becomes a story of intention, depth, and profound meaning.