If I want to make a fire, I need a little more than just a spark. Something combustible is usually important, otherwise, when that spark happens, I won’t be in a position to build it into a fire. Opportunity’s the same; if I’m ready for it, then I’m in a position to make the most of it. This readiness is something which most ‘lucky’ people have in common.
“Chance favours the prepared mind” – Louis Pasteur
Sometimes, though, there is no spark. There are two ways in which I can deal with this problem: either I can go where a spark is, or I can work at making one. I can draw on the experience of others where appropriate – perhaps they know where a suitable pair of stones can be found – and I can get them to help me, if they happen to have a lighter on them.
But what should I do if I’m stranded on a desert island, with no flint and steel, no lighter and no magnifying glass?
Time is an opportunity. I shall find bits of wood and rub them together in different configurations until I work out how to make fire.
Time is the most precious of all opportunities. Everyone wishes there was more of it in the day. I drink far too much coffee because I never give myself enough time to sleep in. Other people struggle to find time with their kids, time for their hobbies, time to get their work done, time to breathe.
If there’s really nothing I need to get done with my time, I can prepare for when I will need it. I can refactor code. Learn new things. Tidy my desk. Tidy my brain. Get that boring task that I’ve been putting off for weeks out of the way. Talk to people and find out what’s happening. Eat sensibly. Go to the gym.
Whatever I do – I must not just sit down in front of the TV. That way lies ill-fortune. Every hour I spend watching Eastenders is an hour of my life that I can never get back.