How a Seemingly Bad Luck Can Turn Out to Be a Good Luck


Prof. Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

How a Loss Can Turn into a Gain

Peter Achten was a student of history in Basel, Switzerland, and worked on his doctoral dissertation for seven years, writing many chapters and collecting a large number of documents and references.

One day he went to a meeting and parked his car in front of the building. His laptop computer with his dissertation was locked in the trunk of his car. When he left the building two hours later, his car was stolen, including his laptop and–most importantly–his dissertation. There was no way he could spend another seven years to do all that research over again. So he never achieved his life goal, to become a professor of history.

Instead, he found a job as radio reporter, then as television correspondent, and became the chief correspondent of the Swiss national television network in Washington, and later in Beijing. This way, he reached nearly a million people almost daily, instead of only a few dozen in a class room once a week.

What looked like a total disaster at first turned out to be a lucky coincidence.


Dietrich Fischer (1941-2015) from Münsingen, Switzerland, got a Licentiate in Mathematics from the University of Bern 1968 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University 1976. 1986-88 he was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University. He has taught mathematics, computer science, economics and peace studies at various universities and been a consultant to the United Nations. He was co-founder, with Johan Galtung, of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment in 1993.

Excerpted from Dietrich Fischer’s Stories to Inspire You – TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Oct 2017.

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