There is Always Something:
A few years ago (well, perhaps more than just a few) there was
a delightful movie entitled Joe Versus the Volcano.
As the title suggests, this was an uneven contest.
That volcano never had a chance!
However, the hero of the story was always looking for what could
go wrong next. As the tale progressed, he moves from a dead end
job, and the threat of dying young to an exciting adventure, falling
in love and being miraculously saved from death. After being saved,
his reaction is to comment on what a desperate situation the new
couple finds themselves facing. The heroine comments: Its
always going to be something with you, isnt it?
A more recent movie, A Series of Unfortunate Events
looks at the other side. No matter what kind of problem, or what
kind of danger the children are in, the young heroine is heard
to say There is always something. However, in this
case, she is referring to all of the possible ways to overcome
the problem and come out on top.
One of the two people above looks for what can go wrong, and expects
to find it. The other looks for opportunities to succeed, in fact
actively seeks them, and finds them. This is a little like the
the glass is half full, the glass is half empty or
Yin and Yang point of view, but with a twist. Simply recognizing
that life is inherently a balanced structure (light and dark,
good and bad, left and right, man and woman, etc.) is only part
of the message. The essential human talent that allows us to focus
on one side or the other of the equation to the exclusion of the
other is our way of influencing the odds. There is a reason why
the phrase Be careful what you wish for! resonates
with so many of us.
Find and Seek:
From the oldest book, we find Seek, ye shall find.
This is one way of saying that your attitude toward events and
conditions will directly influence your experience of those events
and conditions. Stay open to the possibilities is
a different way of saying the same thing. Another way to look
at this is that your attitude can actually change the probabilities
inherent in the situation to either your favor, or your detriment.
Sound like magic? Stay tuned!
Lets look at the other alternative. Suppose you decide not
to seek? How many opportunities are you likely to
miss, if you are not looking for them? Your probability of finding
fell dramatically. With the attitude of There is always
good, what do you suppose the probability
bias to your life would be? What would that probability bias be
if you were always seeking everything that could go wrong? If
you find what you seek, isnt the end result obvious?
To some, the past is the most important part of their lives. They
just cant let go and move on. The inventor who
laments of someone else They stole my idea missed
an essential point. They may have stolen his idea,
but they didnt steal him. This is like lamenting the loss
of a golden egg, while holding the goose that lays those eggs.
If your eye is fixed on the egg, you wont notice the value
inherent in the goose.
The classic case here is Eli Whitney who spent years trying, albeit
unsuccessfully, to defend his invention of the cotton gin. When
he finally let go and moved on, he added several new
patents to his name, and wound up inventing interchangeable parts,
the radical new concept that revolutionized the arms industry
of the time. What would have happened if he had not been able
to forget about the past and move on? If your eye is only on the
golden egg, you dont notice the value of the goose. As Jimmy
Durante used to say: I got a million of em, a million
of em! When you are the source, who can steal anything
truly important from you?
Our most recent Symposium will now be in the past as you read
this, but for me writing this letter, it is in the near future.
I am preparing to go to Chicago expecting another wonderful EMC
Society experience. Because of my attitude, I truly believe that
my probability of having a great time in the Windy City
will be at its maximum.
Despite my attitude, there will inevitably also be challenges
to meet, which will actually disguise opportunities waiting to
be discovered. How many I find will be a test of my ability to
focus on the something that can convert this opportunity
from a potential problem into a new positive reality. But thats
life, it moves from one opportunity to another. Once you recognize
that fact, your major problem will be trying to take advantage
of as many as you have time to address.
Portland & Hawaii:
Not wanting to hold onto the past, I am already looking forward
to having another wonderful time meeting friends and associates
in Portland next year. And, if you are like most of our members
I talk with, you are already planning your family vacation for
2007 in conjunction with our Symposium on the island of Oahu in
Hawaii. It seems that holding onto the past is not something our
members have problems with! EMC