Thoughts in Action: Part One

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu, Art of War

Sun Tzu was a military strategist, philosopher, and general. He’s credited for writing The Art of War, which has influenced the world both in terms of philosophy and war strategy.

Opportunities are opened up to us every day. Sometimes we take them, sometimes we don’t, and sometimes we don’t even notice that they exist. But that’s okay, because even if we don’t take any opportunities up, they’ll still happen… right?

Well, according to Sun Tzu (called Master Sun in The Art of War), opportunities are exponential. Meaning that if we take up an opportunity, more opportunities rise to meet our current level of being. Think of beginning a job at a large company… let’s say Google.

At first, you’re simply an intern. You might not even make money yet. Then, once you do good enough, you’ll get promoted to an official employee. After crushing the expectations there, you become a manager, and then part of a team of managers, going up and up and up until you reach your potential. In fact if you were to become the CEO of Google, you could raise the bar to match your potential. This is how innovative things come into this world.

Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword. Sometimes, we shut down opportunities, and don’t act on them. This leads to a whole branch of opportunities to be cut off. This could even cause us to become unmotivated and turn down more opportunities, which has the same effect. Eventually we shut everything down until we can only do what we’re already doing. We lower our potential.

Opportunities revolve around potential. If we’re good enough, new opportunities pop up and take us to a whole new level. This happens again and again and again until we reach the top, which is when we add a new level. Even the best have room to grow, and once they do that they change the game.

A good example of this is to look at a sub-four minute mile. There was a time where nobody thought it was possible because our bodies physically were incapable of achieving this feat. That is, until 1954, when Roger Bannister ran a 3 minute, 59.4 second mile. Since then, more than 1,400 male athletes have done the same. Bannister became so good that he reached the top — then added a new level for people to reach.

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What do you think? How do you reach for your potential every day, and what do you do to keep track of your opportunities? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Also, feel free to like this post and share it on your social media. You have a friend or family member that could use this information, and you could help change the world by giving it to them (see past blog posts for information on why this is). Other than that, stay tuned for future blog posts every Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and try to be the reason someone smiles today 🙂

One thought on “Thoughts in Action: Part One

  1. It is so true. I worked with Walmart for 28 years starting out as a Dept Mgr and worked my way up to a District Asst. Each promotion opened the door for me to learn more and progress to the next level. But it was important to me to train someone behind me who could take my place. I was given other opportunities along the way and got to work in just about every aspect of operations. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience from it that helped later on in life. I wish I could have applied the same drive to relationships however. It’s an area I’ve always struggled in, but I’m able also to see where I have grown using the good and the bad to move forward in that area of my life too. You don’t grow by not taking risks and learning from your mistakes. I appreciate you Chris! If you help one person, you’ve done well!

    Like

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