You have experienced it—that unexpected, unanticipated connection to something that is meaningful to you. Thinking of a friend who you have not seen for a long time and the next thing you know there is an email or Facebook invitation waiting for you. Synchronicity is a phenomenon. It is those moments, meetings or circumstances that leave you amazed and stunned at the mystery of life.

In my book—Mark Of An Eagle—Synchronicity is described as: “An unexpected and totally surprising connection to a life event one is confronting or experiencing. It is often a source of encouragement that inspires you to not give up at a time when life is most challenging.”

I have had the good fortune of being on the receiving end of that unexpected encouragement several times, but Synchronicity can also introduce you to opportunities to be the encourager--to leave your own special mark on the world. Here is a recent example that moved me at the deepest level.

My wife, Cheryl, and I were enjoying some appetizers and a glass of wine at one of our favorite restaurants before heading to a show. Cheryl’s bag was sitting on a spare chair at our table. Suddenly, a man stood up from the table next to us and accidentally knocked over the chair spilling the contents of the bag all over the floor. The man was extremely apologetic, but we reassured him that it was not a problem--it could happen to any of us.

There was something in his behavior, however, that led me to inquire if he was OK. He looked back at me with the saddest eyes and confided that, in fact, he was not. Although this person was a stranger to me, I felt compelled to ask if I could help. He responded that my offer was very kind, but his sadness was connected to his eighteen-year-old daughter who was dealing with a rare form of cancer. His world had been turned upside down.

As a cancer survivor, I was very empathetic to his emotions and the utter powerlessness that one can experience with such a diagnosis, whether it be personal or, as was in his case, that of a dearly loved child. After he shared his story, I let him know about my own cancer journey and informed him that it had been documented in a chapter in my new book. I then asked if I could send him a gift copy in the spirit that my lessons and observations maybe helpful and comforting as he went through these difficult times. He was most grateful for the offer.

What then began was a series of interactions that covered several months and updates from Mark (the Dad) about Zoe (the daughter). I learned that Zoe’s hair had fallen out just in time for her prom—hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Her courage, however, led Zoe to be featured in a local news channel report as she prepared for a stem cell transplant. Unbeknown to me was the knowledge that throughout these communications, Mark had been reading my book.

It is impossible to truly understand why two people come together under the circumstances that introduced me to Mark. Why that restaurant? It was a last minute decision on our part. Why was he sitting next to us? What if Mark had not tipped over the chair? But he had, and that’s all that mattered! A door was opened for one human being to reach out to another and connect in the most meaningful of ways. It took me two years to write Mark Of An Eagle, and if the only reward was to receive the following, it was worth every minute.

“Hi David, finished your book this week in tandem with my daughter completing her ASCT. Loved your insights and would giggle when you would reveal our common threads. I gave your book to Zoe on the +1 day post-transplant with this inscription next to yours:

Dear Zoe,

Your mother and I both read a book in 1993 called The Celestine Prophecy based on the recommendation of friends. The premise of the book is when you double-take on a stranger this is not a coincidence but a sign that you both have information to share. I have learned that when I live my life acknowledging these situations good things happen.

And that is how I acquired this book as your grandparents and I were having dinner at Bar Lurcat before coming to see you in the hospital. I am not sure what information I have for David McNally… but it is clear what he had for me…I have read the book and hope you will also.

As you start anew with your stem cell transplant so that you can live the life meant for you, I truly hope that we can do the same, and find a place where we can both help each other make our mark. I will always love you. Your Dad.”

 MARK OF AN EAGLE—How Your Life Changes the World by David McNally

Available on Amazon or here.   

 “Our human desire to make a purposeful mark on the world lies deep within our souls. Mark Of An Eagle gives both pragmatic and profound insights to unleash this transformative aspiration.”   Kevin Cashman – CEO, Executive Development, Korn Ferry