May 18

Luck or coincidence

Do you believe in fate, or perhaps you are a person committed to the simple idea of co-incidence? Then again you could be a lucky so and so, someone who believes in luck above all less?

Whatever your view on life you have to admit that there are some very strange occurrences that can seem to be well beyond the norm of life. The same cannot be said of other aspects of our lives, they are totally predictable, DSTV is always on at least repeat season 3, the beer always runs out at a party and SA Express Airways, between CT and PE, is always late!

Then again they do say that all things can ultimately be explained, luck for instance has another explanation to it and I will explain it! In my first job, after I left law school with my squeaky new LLB(Hons), I worked for Xex, or rather Rank Xerox as it was in those days.

I wanted to earn some decent money and that meant more than the pittance I was offered to enter the profession. So off I went to Xerox, I was lucky at only 23 to get that chance as they had the very best sales training school in the UK and were ruthless. You either passed an exam and achieved 90% at the induction, or you were sent home in shame on the train!

It was on that course that I was taught that there really was such a thing as luck and that ALL successful people have it. What is more it was available, to everyone and you could have it whenever you wanted it. Luck simply meant Labour Under Correct Knowledge! That is it, apply your time, energy, enthusiasm and effort where it matters, know what you want and what you need to do to get that goal and then work blinking hard every day.

I believe in that piece of advice today as much as I did then, I will die convinced that hard focused work is rewarded. It was later adapted by a short South African golfer who claimed it was his idea that “the harder you practice the luckier you get,” the truth is that he learned it all at Xerox, where he was a photocopier salesman between golf events!

Co-incidences are a little different and in the financial markets we have had our fair share. Storms and bad weather have often marked gripping days in the market. In 1987 the classic “bad day”, known as Black Monday, was also the day of the worst storms in living memory in the UK. Although, to be honest there are so many bad weather days in the UK it’s hard to find a day when the markets go down without it raining!

On a stranger note did you know that in 1972, after the Munich Olympic massacre, a plane was flown by Muslim fundamentalists towards the Munich stadium’s closing ceremony? Nothing came of the event, but the date was 9/11, I kid you not!

So as you can see life has some lessons to teach us and also trick us with, through it all we must decide what is fact, fiction and fantasy.

The final co-incidence, or potential opportunity is this, can Bafana Bafana win the World Cup? Well there may just be a sign that makes it worth putting R10 on them! They are playing at home, as did England in 1966. They have France, Mexico and Uruguay in their group, so take a guess who England had in their group in 1966? Yes, France, Mexico and Uruguay! England went on to win at home, who knows it could be a sign or is it just a sad co-incidence?Back

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