The power of the fortune cookie


As I was on my way to Las Vegas for the iROC 2014 conference, I had a layover in Phoenix. I was surprised to find a Pei Wei restaurant in the terminal, and further surprised to find that they served bacon and egg fried rice for breakfast. It was actually quite good.

And of course what do you also get with Chinese food? A fortune cookie. Here was my fortune:

Fortune CookieBeing that I was headed to speak at a conference of amusement park professionals, I immediately thought the opportunity could be business related. But what if it wasn’t? What if some other opportunity was headed my way? My attention was heightened in every interaction and circumstance. And why? Because my fortune cookie told me to keep my eyes open.

What if I hadn’t stopped at Pei Wei? What if I had gotten a bagel or a smoothie from another vendor? I wouldn’t have gotten that fortune cookie, and I wouldn’t have been looking at everything that happened as a potential clue to a possible opportunity.

I know there are people that do this already, and it’s certainly an attitude and outlook that I want to develop.

Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” We probably also miss 100% of the opportunities we aren’t looking for.

What was interesting to me is that I wasn’t just looking for the opportunity, the fact that it might be out there influenced me to behave a little differently. I actively put myself in situations that might reveal the opportunity.

Here’s the thing. I have no idea if I have already seen the opportunity and seized it, or if it’s still “soon to arise”. Maybe just the chance to reevaluate my opportunity outlook WAS the opportunity… Or maybe it was more pedestrian than that. Maybe the opportunity was just to be nice and offer my seat at Pei Wei to a large group that couldn’t find seats together (which happened, by the way).

Maybe the opportunity was encapsulated in the inquires I got while in Vegas for two more possible speaking engagements.

Quite honestly, I think the beauty of this is that I just don’t know. If I knew the opportunity had arrived and I took it, I might be more inclined to stop looking.

But I’m not. Believing that there are infinite possibilities out there keeps me searching, alert, and wondering what the next great adventure is going to be.

Thank you, fortune cookie. You gave me more than a tasty end to a surprising meal.

Thanks for reading.

Matt

About the author: Matt knows you have an opportunity to help your seasonal supervisors succeed, but that doesn’t mean you have the time or the resources.  Take the opportunity to contact Matt and see what sort of development opportunities he can provide for you and your staff.

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