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?

4 commentaires:

Du Caked Hare a dit…

It's something that should come naturally, concluding that not-p'ssing-people-off will yield benefits, but with so many people "wanting to be themselves without compromise," it is a rare commodity to see a person enlightened to this.

I think the more important message to look at (being the key issue) is to show how "being nice" does not mean "being a pushover" or "selling out" or "losing individuality" or "being a hyppocrite" or ... you name it.

There's a book called "the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" in which the author specifically advises against "being a nice person just to achieve your goal short term" - in essence, don't fake being nice. In other words, the difference between "being a good person" and "being a nice person"

The topic has filled shelves. You obviously have innately got it right.

Anonyme a dit…

Thanks Anne for sharing your reflective thoughts and insights.
It certainly helps me to continue moving in a positive direction.

Anonyme a dit…

Just to let you know I read your blog from time to time.

And it makes me miss you even more!



Anne Losq a dit…

I'm realizing this whole "being nice" thing, and getting perks out of being pleasant is on my mind... so thanks, Tai, for taking the time to answer! I see what you mean about the difference between being nice for profit, and just having a positive attitude as a general rule.