Archive for June, 2008

Opportunity – In the mind of the beholder

Posted in State of Man Journal, State of Man News with tags , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by johnhstringer

Please note that the views expressed below are solely that of the author (John Stringer), which may not be held by other members of the band!

You know how you find a book on life or on perspective that just FEELS GOOD to read… one that makes you tingle all over with excitement?  That amazing experience generally happens when the content resonates with who you are – and its a great experience to have.

My wife and I are currently reading an excellent new book called Relax into Wealth that has this very effect on me.  The book is exceptionally well written and offers practical advice and didactic stories that may inspire you as much as they inspire me.   Here is an excerpt about opportunity that reminds you of an important lesson:

“Around the turn of the twentieth century, a shoe manufacturer sent a representative to Africa to open up a market in that undeveloped continent.  After exploring the culture for a month, the rep sent a telegram to the home office shouting, ‘Disaster! Disaster! These people do not wear shoes.  Bring me home immediately!’

A short time later, another shoe company sent their agent to Africa for the same purpose.  A month later his home office also received a  telegram: ‘Opportunity! Opportunity! These people do not weare shoes!  Triple production immediately!’

Every situation contains the potential for disatrous problems or undprecedented success.  The event is what we perceive it to be, and it will become what we make of it.  The Chinese written character for crisis is composed of two other characters: danger plus opportunity

The author, Alan Cohen, goes on to explain that “No person, event, or experience is one thing only.  Every situtaion is a blank slate upon which we project our beliefs, which create our entire life.”  How true!

Instead of viewing experiences that trigger frustration, failure, or resistance as “bad,” we can use those feelings as warning signals to reset our perspective and to look for the hidden value the opportunity is offering!  As one great teacher was reported to have said,  “Seek and ye shall find!”