Saturday, February 11, 2012

An interesting thing happened to me today.  I believe I got a sense of genuine inspiration and direction for something I should specifically focus on in my life.  This specific type of inspiration is truly quite rare in my life.  It was one of those moments where the universe conspired--as it were--to deliver a message to me by design to point my life in a certain direction.

Here's what happened:  Today, my wife texted me from a conference she's attending to tell me about a cool speech on about achieving effectiveness in leadership.  I don't always take the time to review such recommendations, but I did this time--almost immediately after she recommended it.  So, there I was watching this speech on leadership by Simon Sinek.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it:

Throughout the speech, Sinek encourages the audience to approach leadership from an inside-out perspective--namely, to let the core of what you believe and who you are dictate the means and results of your leadership.  As an illustration of this point, Sinek refers to Martin Luther King as one who was often found saying, "I believe".  Sinek's exact statement about King was this:  "He didn't go around telling people what needed to change in America.  He went around and told people what he believed.  'I believe. I believe.  I believe,' he told people."

At the precise moment Sinek completed the above quote, the speech was automatically paused by an alert message I had set in my calendar to remind me to read a daily affirmation I have created.  Interestingly, the affirmation starts with the statement:  I believe in my ideas. . . The words "I believe. . ." were displayed on my screen over the paused speech at exactly the moment the speaker had repeated those words multiple times.

To HEAR the words "I believe. . ." repeated by Sinek at a moment where I had turned to think carefully about what my MLK-like mission might be, then to read the words "I believe. . ." on my daily affirmation at exactly the same moment was truly remarkable. 

In fact, I had an interest in determining exactly HOW remarkable a "coincidence" such as this might be.  I therefore endeavored to calculate the odds of such an occurrence.  I found that my chances of randomly playing that speech within the course of any given year at such a moment as to coincide precisely with the alert for my daily affirmation (which was set for exactly 10:00am today) were 1 in 31,536,000.  These are the odds as factored for only the timing of the speech and the alert aligning so precisely within the course of any given year.  This is only ONE of several other variables.  My alert being set for a different moment in the day, an opening other than 'I believe' on my affirmation, my wife's attendance at the conference, her choice to text me the speech, my choice to listen to it, etc. etc. Each of these variables have their own set of odds of occurring.  Conservatively, the chances of all 6 variables aligning (and I'm certain 6 is NOT inclusive of all affecting factors) to produce the effect I experienced in that specific moment today are more than 23 trillion, 623 billion to 1.

What I am saying is this:  I don't believe in coincidences; I believe in inspiration.  I believe I received direction today on the most important things for me to consider at this moment in my life.  I believe as the author, Paulo Coelho, articulated in one my favorite books, The Alchemist, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."  Today I wanted clarity of vision towards my purposes, and "the universe" reached out and handed it to me.

Thanks for the inspiration, universe.  ;)