Timing is everything or so they say. I have heard this many times and so often I have thought to myself, “Yeah right!” as another opportunity slipped by without tangible explanation. And then today, after a day working in London, and meeting with new contacts, I arrived at Victoria station to a scene of Friday night commuting overload as almost all trains were delayed by “an incident”.

LondonBridgeChaosWhen you are faced with this scenario, you are offered a choice aren’t you? You can either become increasingly stressed out, especially if you have to be somewhere and now those plans are being jeopardised with every extra minute of delay. Or, you can accept that you are powerless to do anything about it and find something else to do.

Thankfully, I didn’t have any pressing engagement to get back to, so the choice was admittedly made a little easier and I found myself a seat in a pub inside the station and enjoyed a beer. Fortunately, I picked a spot where I could still see the train timetable board and could therefore glance up every now and then to see if the “Delayed” status had changed. What would I do I thought to myself, if I’m barely a few sips into this rather refreshing beer and the train is suddenly ready to depart? I’ve never been one to “down it in one” and so I decided I certainly wasn’t going to be rushing off, chasing after all the other Friday night ‘railway refugees’.

I was even more satisfied when I managed for the first time to actually use my ‘Personal Hotspot’ and do a bit of blogging and check my email. When I had finished writing as well as my beer, I glanced up at the timetable board and the train to Brighton was still “Delayed” but was now displaying “Platform 19”. It was time to go. I admit I did not casually walk but neither did I run for my life – something told me it would all be fine, despite the hordes of people all across the concourse.

I picked a spot on platform 19 just as the train was pulling in and to my wonder and pure delight, a set of doors stopped right in front of me, enabling me to get a seat and settle down for the journey home.


So what did I learn from this? Well, much as I may have often huffed and puffed and politely, even sometimes secretly, disagreed with the notion that timing is everything, this experience proved it can actually be the case. It may not feel like things are happening but often there is more good stuff going on behind your back than in front of your eyes. I could have got very stressed, spent the entire one hour of delay standing in the middle of the concourse, staring blankly at the timetable board and nothing would have changed. Except I would have been a lot thirstier!

Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.


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