Missed opportunities

31 Jul

I like chance encounters and the like. It’s exciting and unexpected, and somehow it happens almost naturally. It starts with a simple ‘Yes’ and an open attitude. The figurative domino knocks over and sets off a cascade of dominoes that fall beyond your control. The initial step of being present, allowing things to happen regardless of the outcome is freeing for an analytical, logical person like myself.

The thought reminds me of my college commencement where our speaker, Bill Cosby addressed us newly minted graduates to show up for things. Showing up is half the effort he said. My bright eyed self wondered what he meant to ‘show up.’ His statement didn’t go well with the rest of my overachieving class. I shrugged off the advice that being present could guarantee anything, let alone success. A few years later, I finally understood that he meant it differently and less literally. How often have you thought about foregoing meetings or events, but after deciding to show up, you’re glad you went?

My mom shares the anecdote of her first meeting with my dad and how it was completely by chance. My dad was going on a double date with my mom’s roommate at the time but her roommate fell sick and my mom ended up taking her place. It’s funny as much as we like to predict what happens next, it never quite turns out that way. Guess who’s thanking my mom now?

Showing up signals priorities in life, but also a way to open up new opportunities – job opportunities, new friends, the list goes on. I hardly say no to invitations and so far it’s served me well. When I waver between putting myself out there or going about my own routine, I challenge myself to do the former. I can always go back to my routine the next day.

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2 Responses to “Missed opportunities”

  1. Thuy August 4, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    I enjoyed this blog post. I think we all could say yes more and take a chance. I’ll try to do that more. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • jenahfah August 4, 2011 at 2:00 am #

      Thanks for the comment, Thuy!

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