"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Is It A Downturn or Opportunity?

"All our dreams come true - if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

The cyclical nature of things always seems to take us by surprise. Everything we learn from history to geology have cyclical natures. The rise of a civilization or empire is met by the fall to a worthier or better prepared new comer. We witness the rise of a business and its fall; the growth of an industry and its downturn. Farmers have harnessed the Tao of leveraging cycles. They are fully aware that reaping and sowing are cyclical, and any attempt to challenge this natural cycle is futile.

Our current state of financial affairs as a whole can be seen as a movement towards a downturn. We should perhaps borrow a word from agriculture and use the term "sowing" as opposed to downturn or recession. Sowing conveys a time of preparation, cultivation, of harnessing our capabilities and planting seeds that will later come to fruition.

Lao Tsu, who wrote the Tao Te Ching, promoted a philosophical method of embracing the flow of things, as opposed to battling the natural forces of life. We speak of embracing the flow, not becoming submissive, or complacent. The difference is in using what is given and maximizing the opportunity.

In our own private lives for example, many of us detest "loneliness." Those who embrace there situations however, call this "solitude," and maximize the moment by becoming more intimate with themselves, god, or refining their mental capacities.

Simply by re-naming, or re-framing our situations, we can transform lack into abundance, and failure into opportunity. Leaders must cultivate this. By doing so,
we work with the flow of nature so to speak. At the same time we become responsive, adaptable, and versatile. The moment is perfect to differentiate ourselves by asking questions of opportunity and their by sow the seeds of innovation.

Angel Armendariz

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