Getting to the right place

Is there such a thing as the right time and place, somewhere in all the random activity the odds on things resulting from the sheer coincidence of being there at that specific moment.

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Published: Fri 12 Nov 2010, 10:02 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

Especially in careers. The lucky break, the chance meeting, the series of unusual actions that end up in a surprise offer.

Most of us believe in coincidences and to us the right time, right place theory is about as valid as a master’s degree and a lot more fruitful if it works for you. Hence the man who missed the flight that crashed, the one who won the two million dollar lottery, the person who got promoted because three people resigned on one day, all these events occurred because they were so destined.

The other school believes it is all random and has nothing to do with destiny, your luck or the fact that your presence at a certain spot was anything more than just that…your presence.

A senior professor of mathematics debunks the theory that right time right place equations have a scientific validity.

He said he was surprised that a thinking man would be so easily taken in by the mumbo-jumbo of being in the right place at the right time.

He scoffed and said, there is no such thing as the right time and the right place. Not where the career is concerned, not where anything is concerned.

We use this excuse as the big copout to explain other people’s success when we are still in a holding pattern.

It is a convenient explanation especially if the person whom success is currently shying away from with is someone you don’t particularly like. Then you say, ah well, he happened to be at the right place at the right time, nothing to do with his track record or his abilities, just a lucky break.

Nonsense. You have to move to get anywhere so there is nothing special about any of the events or the order in which they occur. When it works in our favour we see it as the great, happy hand of Providence giving us that break we have been waiting for. When things work against us then we blame it all on the caprice of fate and the evil and nasty luck that never leaves us alone.

Each is exactly of the same texture. We are billiard balls cannoning and richocheting on the baize of life(actually said that) and it is all random as far as we are concerned. So much for that though most of us do not see ourselves as billiard balls careening up and down the table of life.

We all have these ‘happy coincidence’ daydreams. Of winning the raffle. Of purchasing a Maserati. Of becoming the boss. Of creating something more successful than Facebook. Of being someone.

We spend our lives waiting with anticipation when it is actually a combination of greed and laziness. Not that you have to be a cynic to realise that hard work does not always pay off. You can slog for twenty years and have nothing to show for it because the fact is sincerity is not a sweetener that brings its guarantee. Right next to you is this three dollar fake, flawed, corked individual raking it in and living off the fat of the land and you aren’t even in the frame.

Though there has to be something to be said for these wonderful right time at the right place scenarios. Like a rich arbaap coming up to you and saying, ah just the man I want, what a

coincidence, here is twenty million dollars, go on, make me the best legal firm, newspaper, marketing set up, chartered accountant company, sports franchise, whatever in the world.

Now that would be a lot of right time at the right place.

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