Timing Your Response to Events

“There’s always a right time to take action. When you act before or after – you either injure yourself or waste your efforts behind events.”


There lived once in Baghdad a very wealthy man, who lost all his substance and became so poor, that he could only earn his living by excessive labor. One night, he lay down to sleep, dejected and sick at heart, and saw in a dream one who said to him, “Thy fortune is at Cairo; go thither and seek it.”

So he set out for Cairo; but, when he arrived there, night overtook him and he lay down to sleep in a mosque. Presently, as fate would have it, a company of thieves entered the mosque and made their way thence into an adjoining house; but the people of the house, being aroused by the noise, awoke and cried out; whereupon the chief of the police came to their aid with his officers. The robbers made off; but the police entered the mosque and finding the man from Baghdad asleep there, laid hold of him and beat him with palm-rods, till he was well-nigh dead.

Then they cast him into prison, where he abode three days, after which the chief of the police sent for him and said to him, “Whence art thou?”

“From Baghdad,” answered he.

“And what brought thee to Cairo?” asked the magistrate.

Quoth the Baghdadi, “I saw in a dream one who said to me, ‘Thy fortune is at Cairo; go thither to it.’ But when I came hither, the fortune that he promised me proved to be the beating I had of thee.

The chief of the police laughed, till he showed his jaw teeth, and said, “O man of little wit, thrice have I seen in a dream one who said to me, ‘There is in Baghdad a house of such a fashion and situate so-and-so, in the garden whereof is a fountain and thereunder a great sum of money buried. Go thither and take it.’ Yet I went not; but thou, of thy little wit, hast journeyed from place to place, on the faith of a dream, which was but an illusion of sleep.”

Then he gave him money, saying, “This is to help thee back to thy native land.”

Now the house he had described was the man’s own house in Baghdad; so the latter returned thither, and digging underneath the fountain in his garden, discovered a great treasure; and [thus] God gave him abundant fortune.


Everything in life answers to divine timing. This is an open secret, but not everybody understands how it works. You might be finding things difficult right now because you are attempting to do the right things at the wrong time.

You would also get the same results when you set out on the wrong course at the right time. The good news is that you wouldn’t be needing so much effort to achieve your desired results, when you act on the right things at the right time.

Truth is that, there are times of day, or even days of the week when our effort tends to deliver more favorably on expectations. The emphasis here is identifying those crucial moments and timing that our responses to events can become more productive. One principle that has worked beautifully well with so many people has been a very simple one. And that is the Pareto Principle.

What is the Pareto Principle? The Pareto Principle – also known as the 80/20 rule and the law of the vital few – states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. The principle was named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land was controlled by 20% of the people, and that 20% of the pea pods in his garden produced 80% of the peas.

Now, the Pareto Principle finds itself statistically embedded into virtually everything in life. So, by applying the 80/20 rule, chances there are that those moments where your effort will deliver more favorably on expectations are the best moments you can take action. And timing your responses around them can help you to optimize your efforts. It can also help to prevent you from wasting your efforts behind events.

As I’m speaking to you right now, you might be wondering that a great work is required to identify those moments where you can optimize your response to events. Yes, true! It does require some work. But, you know what? It is not as difficult as you are looking at it. Now, when you are thinking of the 80/20 chances that you have around the events you are responding to, all you need to do to begin is simple. You will first of all have to define your own individual needs and goals at that moment especially as they relate to what is going on around you.

If you’re a freelancer, for instance, you’re likely looking to make the best use of every minute of your time to accurately engage with the needs and goals of your clients. While you are working towards that, you might also be looking for holes in your schedule to fill with new assignments as they may come up. In the same way, if you are an employee you will likely be looking to track your schedules in the line of duty. But what happens, when you are faced up with events that surround your personal judgments? You are certainly going to engage in a more critical thinking – if you hope to be able to tune your responses favorably.


1. When you find that you are so desperate to respond to events, then try to refrain yourself. In practice, when you are desperate to respond to challenges, chances there are your effort would not deliver maximally on your expectations.

2. When you find that you are trying to impress some persons, then you may either choose to delay your response, or you refrain yourself completely. You may also think towards acting in this direction when you perceive that you are responding to events to crave for attention rather than intention.

3. When you check with yourself and found that you are about to respond casually to events that are deeply entrenched, then you have to think twice. When that is the case, you may hit below the belt and become a shadow of your former self on the long run.

4. When you check with yourself and found that you have become so emotional about the incident in question – that is, when you find that your feelings of excitement or grief have become openly displayed over the issue under consideration, then you may either choose to delay your response, or you refrain yourself completely.

5. When you cannot come to terms with any moral justification for a response; it will be clear that you are not convinced to do anything about that incident. In order words, when you are not motivated do something, then you may either choose to delay your response, or you refrain yourself completely.

6. When you cannot come round with a sustainable policy to manage yourself around your challenges, any response you give to them may not deliver on your expectations. If you cannot develop a system of thinking towards your goals, you may have to delay your response, or you refrain yourself completely.

7. If you are having a tough time breaking down your problems into manageable bits, then you may have to delay your response, or you refrain yourself completely.

Remember. . .

“There’s always a right time to take action. When you act before or after – you either injure yourself or waste your efforts behind events.”

So, I want to thank you for reading. Now if you need help getting unstuck, I want you to consider grabbing a coaching session me, where my skill is the ability to quickly read people and to understand how they can make, master and channel their creative ideas for productivity. If you want that kind of high impact coaching, you can learn more at our Mentorship page. All the details are there on the Counselling page.

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