Posted by Lazaro on March 18, 2001 at 11:32:46:
Posted by Lazaro on March 18, 2001 at 11:32:46:
Thought for the day…(very long) - Posted by Ed Garcia
Posted by Ed Garcia on March 18, 2001 at 08:14:31:
Thought for the day?.
Amongst us we have a very special person who goes by the name of Ray Alcorn. Ray is rich with wisdom and knowledge, and I am lucky enough to be able to call him my friend. Today I have the opportunity to borrow from him, a little of his wisdom and share it with you. Here is a post that Mr. Alcorn answered to JohnBoy in regards to a phrase Ray uses from time to time, “Opportunity, without the capacity to capture it, is an illusion.” JohnBoy questioned it, and here was Rays Answer.
(This is part one of a two-part post. I started with your comments on the truism, and it got away from me! I’ll have to answer the nuts and bolts questions above.)
As someone blessed with more than any two person’s share of imagination, I know better than to tell you anything can’t be done! Far be it from me to be the one to stand in your
way. I will offer some comments as to my own thinking on the subject.
The truism works on a couple of different levels, the first of which states the obvious. Many people stand on the sideline and fret about lost opportunities in life. We’ve all heard the
tale of the person that just knew a piece of property, or business idea, or new product, etc. would be a gold mine. Often the person will point to the individual that did capitalize on
the opportunity and lament “that could have been me.” Could it have been? Doubtful. That wishful person is only fooling him or her self. Had they truly had the capacity to use the
opportunity, they would now not be lamenting a loss. They are living an illusion.
The second level of meaning is more complex. We all have varying levels of capacity. Overreaching that capacity to do some great big thing, while a romantic notion, has in my own
life experience yielded sometimes-disastrous consequences. Let me explain.
One of the major life lessons I have learned is that I must first demonstrate mastery over the level of life I currently inhabit. That means, among other things, being a good steward of
the blessings and resources (tools) that have been entrusted to my care. By demonstrating true stewardship, I mean that I must use those tools in my possession to the best of my
ability in order to graduate to the next level. What I see as opportunities on those upper levels is not necessarily unattainable, but I must realize the reality of the task, and prepare
myself, develop my capacity, by doing the footwork required for the task. Without that preparation, then what seems an opportunity is not for me, until I do in fact have the capacity.
This is not to say that one can’t imagine, only that imagination alone won’t enable you to clear the bar.
A good example of this is what Ed Garcia does with the students he mentors. He takes what the student has (their current capacity), and brings mastery (competence and insight) to
bear on the structure and direction of the tools already in the student’s possession. In so doing, the result is that the student gains new capacity. Hence more opportunities are in fact
achievable now for that student than before gaining the new capacity. Jim Rayner’s story, and your own story, are perfect reflections of this.
The third level of meaning is in effect a challenge. The secret of life is in using and developing your present capacity to take you to that place where what you do is effortless. When
you are in tune with your own capacities and are actively engaged in putting them to the highest and best use, there is no longer “work” in your life. Obstacles will present themselves,
but they are removed by the application of knowledge and resources that can be brought to bear when one lives in reality and not illusion. Knowing yourself with total honesty is the
key to breaking out of illusions.
That’s enough deep thoughts for a Saturday afternoon! Glad you started the discussion. Have a great weekend. I’m hitting the road again for the next ten days, so I may be slow to
respond to further discussion, (cause I know you’ll have to comment!) but rest assured I’ll be back!
(Note: I believe in this concept so strongly that I included a small essay on Stewardship in the last chapter of my first book, "The Dealmaker’s Guide to Mobile Home Parks."
Doesn’t have a thing to do with MHP’s, but it has everything to do with dealmaking and life and success and happiness. I include the excerpt here as food for more thought.)
Many thinkers much smarter than I am have expounded eloquently on the concept of stewardship, defined as the practice of caring for what has been given to us. True to the
teachings of so many sages, I found that the better care I took of the abundance already present in my life, the more abundance I received.
It reminded me of when I was a boy and I wanted a new bicycle. I had a purple ten-speed all picked out, and was hounding my Dad to buy it for me, promising to take care of it,
and promising pay him back from my paper route money. He listened to my story, and then asked to see my old bicycle. Now, as a kid, I was a pretty rough on equipment. That
bike looked like it had been through a war. The tires were slick, spokes bent and missing, the fenders bent and scratched. My Dad said that if that were the way I treated this bike,
what was to make him think a new bike would be taken care of any better? What do you think I did? That’s right, I cleaned that bike up, straightened the dings, shined up the
fenders and tried again. Instinctively I had attempted to demonstrate that I could take care of what I had been given in order to receive greater blessings. I got the bike, but the
lesson it taught wasn’t truly learned until many years later.
Now that may be a sophomoric story to use as an analogy, but today I look at life in just this way. If I take care of those gifts (talents, money, friends, etc.) that have been entrusted
to me, then I am creating the conditions necessary to receive even greater gifts (abundance). If I ignore or waste those blessings by issuing constant complaint and reasons why I
can’t use them for good, then the gifts will be taken from me and redistributed to some other soul that is grateful, and ready for more. I will have denied myself the opportunity to use
the gifts I already possess to create even more abundance.
This principle of stewardship has guided me ever since. In business it means I am a humble steward of the capital and resources entrusted to my decisions. In my personal life it
means I must focus on remaining teachable, knowing I will never know all the answers, or even all the questions. In the day-to-day march of events, I am not being a good steward if
I am not always looking for ways to improve, protect and to share the many blessings I have been given.
I hope you can see this principle at work in your life. No matter what your station in life or your situation at the present, if you don’t like it, it is within your power to change it. Your
life is but a reflection of your habitual thought. If you are not enjoying the blessings and abundance of the universe, you must first make your mind ready to receive it. Find and
express your gratitude for those gifts you already possess. Show the universe you deserve them. Make the most of what you have to do with. Another old proverb says, “Rather
than curse the darkness, light a lamp.” In short, be a good steward.
Thank you Mr. Alcorn,