The secretary had stretched her hand to reach for the cheque-book register. The company was sponsoring people to the International Women's Symposium and I was picking up a cheque. I realized that I wanted to thank the secretary by giving her a free ticket to the symposium. In that split second I realized that there are battles I must never fight. Here are two scenarios.
- I could have given the secretary a free ticket and she would have been glad to attend the symposium. Maybe the question must not be "Are you coming to the conference?" It must be "Why aren't you coming to the conference?"
- Scenario number two; what if someone did not want her to come? Here I am giving access to someone who may not have been 'permitted' to go.
At that point I decided not to give her the ticket. We can debate the pros and cons of my decision. In the end, we must choose carefully what to fight for and what to leave alone. Some battles are not worth fighting while others are worth dying for. Knowing the difference is not only victorious but also incomparable jurisprudence.
One of the ways to do that is by differentiating between an opportunity and an opportunist. An opportunity is that moment of empowerment that comes with positive possibilities. An opportunist is that person who seeks opportunities. This is the stage where most people cease their pursuit of victory. They look for opportunities and then they are fulfilled when they find them. My anecdotal findings suggest that opportunities for growth, for celebration, for wisdom, and for informed choices fall in our laps every day of our lives. Sarah Caldwell once said "Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did."
Today I just want to encourage you to be wise. You and I have to be wise in the way we pick our fights which in turn affects how we spend our energy. I am loosely using the term 'fight' to mean all the affairs of your life that require your energy. Spare your energy for more serious demands.
I salute you and I know that you are a great person.
I will leave you with a two quotes that inspire me greatly.
"I will prepare and some day my chance will come." Abraham Lincoln
"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more" Anthony Robbins