jeudi 9 juin 2011

Opening thoughts on opportunity

I have been meaning to articulate thoughts on the concept of opportunity for quite a while. Currently at work, taking a break after having painted the stage. We paint it regularly to keep it looking good. It's a nice feeling to gaze at a freshly painted stage : pristine, ready to use.
Anyway, it was while I was painting the stage that it occurred to me that a lot of people I knew did favors for me. I benefit from other people's generosity and I'm always a little bit surprised. What led them to offer me (and not necessarily someone else) these opportunities? What state of mind do I project that allows them to trust me?
For example: tonight, I am going to teach a French class in a shop owned by a friend.We hadn't seen each other for a long time, but thanks to facebook, she learned that I was wanting to give lessons, and offered her space on Thursday evenings.
Another example: A mother of a friend has offered her beach house in New Jersey for me and another friend to use during a week-end in September.
In both cases, I never asked for anything. It was merely because the relationship I have with these people allowed these opportunities to happen. A certain amount of trust had been established and this, combined with their inherent generosity led to a class and a holiday.
This may sound a bit "self-helpy" but I'm increasingly realizing how much attitude contributes to one's overall well-being. Bad attitude backfires so much in every aspect of human relationships. And I don't know if people always realize how much attitude weighs on success. Of course, this poses a certain number of problems and inequalities. Because having a good attitude may be a trait of character to a certain extent, but it is fueled by one's  self-confidence and increasing success in different endeavors. Whereas even if someone starts out with a positive outlook on life but is dealt a bad deck of cards, it's only human to become disillusioned. But in turn, it decreases one's chance for positive opportunities. I wonder... if educators were to emphasize the fact that positivity creates a virtuous cycle, would people listen? Instead of making positive feeling all about emotions, could it be viewed and taught as a smart strategy for success?