Monday, 10 October 2011


Watching Jonathan Ross's interview with Jamie Oliver, two facts stuck with me. Firstly, Jamie has sold over 100 million books Worldwide. Secondly, on the night he was "discovered" working in a restaurant by a TV crew, he shouldn't even have been there. He was covering for a friend who wanted to skip his shift to be with a new girlfriend. So in a sense Jamie's entire career - his books, his restaurants, the Fifteen Foundation, his campaigning work on school dinners and family nutrition, all derive from that single act of friendship. Perhaps Jamie would have achieved those things anyway. After all, he is great at what he does: genuine, engaging, passionate. He certainly took full advantage of the opportunities that came his way and you can imagine that he would do so in any situation. But it's hard to see how he could have risen so far and so fast without the extra amplification that early TV exposure provided.

For those who remember the movie, Jamie's presence at the restaurant that night was his "Sliding Doors" moment - a single accident of fate that determines somebody's entire future from that point on. We all have them, and they are difficult to recognise except in retrospect. But the more challenges we accept, the more favours we perform, the more opportunities we embrace, the more likely we are to be present when our own moment arrives.

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