I’m reading a book right now (have several going in fact) that seems to fill a void or longing I’ve had. One might say I just happened upon the book, that it was mere luck or coincidence that I found it. I have to feel otherwise; I would call it serendipity, or maybe, synchronicity.

Synchronicity , defined as “an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated”, has happened at least twice in my life (those are the times I can remember best anyway); I’m sure it’s happened more. But these two incidents stand out for whatever reason and they have to do with books. It seems that, just when I needed them, two books have come to my attention in a very unplanned way.

“It’s funny, you find a book like this and it just speaks to you before you even open it to read.”

The first time I was in the local library looking for what I don’t know, but happened upon Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking . This book was pivotal for me in my life. It’s funny, you find a book like this and it just speaks to you before you even open it to read. It was an “aha” moment where things became clear. This was before the library had even become computerized; I was in the right place at the right time. I mean, I’m there amidst thousands of books and happen to stand right in front of a book that, turns out, helped me very much.

The second and most recent incident of synchronicity is finding the book I’m reading now— The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles and The Art Of Money Getting by P.T. Barnum. This is a very old work, as is Peale’s book. I was looking on Amazon for “The Art Of” something, don’t even remember though wasn’t too far back,  and this book popped up. It’s really two books in one and it spoke to me so profoundly, I believe, because it has to do with principles–basic principles of life–that bring fuller living, and not just with finances as the book suggests, but I think some of the ideas can be applied across all areas of life. This is what I try to do with this blog–see how the same principles apply to different areas of life, including art.

Girl Reading With Cat MTMcClanahan

Girl Reading With Cat MTMcClanahan

It’s surprising, interesting and exciting when something like this happens, like finding a book “by chance” that you need to read, or you meet someone that you needed to meet, or what have you. You just know it’s synchronicity (or serendipity, I may be confusing the two)—you feel there is something, some higher power, controlling things and leading you on your journey through life. It’s a good feeling and maybe that’s proof that it’s nothing but coincidence, or maybe that’s proof that it is synchronicity?  When it occurs you feel as though it’s just right, it fits, it open’s your eyes to see things clearer.

“Maybe this is self-fullfilling prophecy–I’m just looking for proof”

I know, there are a lot of self help books out there, but it hasn’t happened just with books. And it could be that just a smigin of the encounter is of consequence. And, sometimes, these things provide their own proof of being more than coincidental. For example, this last book contains phrases that I’ve used recently in titles to certain work. Maybe this is self-fullfilling prophecy–I’m just looking for proof and so I would find it anywhere. It just seems more than that to me. The books are too, in fact, quite similar in their approach to life–in how they talk about positive thought. Maybe these were the ideas from the times the authors lived in. What is indisputable in all of this is that the books arrived to me when I needed them to–when I was ready to receive them.

Artist Anita Nowinska’s Post The Wishing Game  On Her Blog Blooming Inspiration

MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at

3 Responses

  1. Gail says:

    Thank you so much for your insightful article! I ordered both books and also enjoyed the recommended posts by Anita Nowinska. It is so difficult as an artist often surrounded by non artists to keep a forward momentum! I am determined to make this a financially successful year!

    Kind regards,

    Gail Dolphin

    • MT says:

      Thank you Gail. On your comment, somehow I have to isolate myself mentally–I mean I have to protect the integrity of my artist-self–if that makes sense; that’s what I find myself doing. It’s the same as when life’s little (and big) chores seem to get in the way of our doing what we need to do artistically–for our sanity and for money. I try to stay in the “art” realm, in my mind, all the time; I don’t let those people or things around me dictate how I will think. They have to think their way and that’s great, but I have to be my way also, and that’s also great. For me, it’s a matter of recognizing that my art is as valid as anything else.

      There is more to this I think, and you’ve got me thinking (I feel another post coming on soon).

      This is my situatin anyway and may be way off from your situation, and people are different, so please forgive me if I am running amuk here. Interesting discussion on LinkedIn about Synchronicity and, specifically, has gone towards talking about artist’s tendency to isolate themselves. Don’t know if you are signed up there but probably have to to see the link. It’s in the group True Artist–Living The Art, which sounds like what I’m talking about too now that I think about it.

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