For the last few years, I have had the concept of “Right People, Right Place, Right Time” running through my mind. The general idea is that we should each seek out the feeling that we are with the Right People, in the Right Place, and at the Right Time. It is a concept that applies in both personal and professional contexts of life and is a recipe for peace.
So what do I mean by these concepts? Well, I am glad you asked.
- Constructive relationships
When I am around the Right People, it is a constructive experience. I notice this particularly as I leave an experience with the Right People. I feel positive and like the world is in a better place.
- Mutually beneficial
To really fit the description of Right People, both of us have to derive benefit. It cannot just be me, or the other party. It is the developing of a relationship which has to be a two-way street.
The Right People are not just one and done. The group that is Right People defines an identity that is consistent. Relationships are seasonal, so there is going to be variation between the composition of your group, but it will have people serving the same roles. It is going to be both family & community.
- Geographic location
Not all places are created equal. And it is not just the desirability of Sunny California. Each of us has a place that feels like home. We also have places that do not feel like home but provide some sort of value. I recently listened to an episode of Free Agents (now Focused) with Mike Vardy (#60: Be Strategic About It, with Mike Vardy). His home is currently in British Columbia, but he grew up in Ontario. The move to BC was driven, not by his desire to be there, but by a promise of professional advancement by his employer. It may not have been home when he moved there, but it became home as he embraced it.
The Right Place needs to be a place that is accessible. Right now, there is a huge attraction for me to three places that I do not live:
- Sunny California
- The Pacific Northwest
- Central New York (childhood home)
Regardless of my desire for those three places, I know that my current home in the flyover states is my Right Place. Infrastructure for my life is unique to this place. Relocation is not an option, so I know this is my Right Place. That could change in the future, but it is true for today.
I know where my Right Place is. Nowhere/everywhere can be the Right Place for a person who is nomadic. Yet even the most nomadic person needs the definition of “The Road”. To be in that in-between space where you do not have a defined place is psychologically distressing.
- Life stage
Again, let us consider the above example of Mike Vardy. He was able to accept that transfer from his employer because he was not yet married, nor did he have significant independent roots in his community. He was in the stage of building his adult life, so he was able to move.
My current life stage has significant roots in my community. I am not yet part of the community, but I am very dependent on the infrastructure of professionals around me.
The person living on a $75,000 annual salary can scrape by in Manhattan but could live quite comfortably in a flyover state. It cannot be the Right Place if you cannot afford it.
- Daily schedule
Your schedule must match that of your place. Are you a morning person in a city that lives on nightlife? Do your children have a Monday-Friday school schedule while you work 2nd shift, including regular weekends? These are all questions and scenarios that we consider as we determine whether or not a given circumstance comes at the Right Time.
Look, I know this does not lay out an exact science over how to measure whether your circumstances meet the ideal of “Right People, Right Place, Right Time”. What I find is that this model is primarily instinctual. You know, intuitively whether or not you are in the ideal state of “Right People, Right Place, Right Time”.
I say that when you find all 3, you ride until it is over, seeking to stay in that moment.
When it is just 2 of 3, you are open to change.
When it is 1 of 3, you seek a change.
When it is 0 of 3, you change. Now.
Where are you?