31 July 2008

Crisis or Opportunity? Depends on how you look at it.

Not sure what my refugee friends might think of crisis being an opportunity. Some of them might. I was reading a novel this week about a cheese man with an amazing nose. The great London fire created the impetus for him to travel and see new lands. A remarried friend holds no bitterness toward her first husband. If they had not divorced, she wouldn't have met and married the man she loves so deeply now.

Gail Blanke says,

So how do we turn what might feel like a crisis into an opportunity? Marcel Proust wrote, “The only true voyage of discovery…would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes.” And that is exactly the trick to not only surviving tough times but also flourishing in them: “to possess other eyes.” When you see things differently, you can let go of the old ways and turn your challenges into something thrilling.

You know who’s good at this? Entrepreneurs. In fact, I invite every one of my clients to adopt such an enterprising spirit. Here’s why: Entrepreneurs thrive in times of chaos. If they don’t have something they want or need, they invent it. They have a passion for discovery, for seeing new possibilities in old situations. They know that the best ideas and the best outcomes often emerge from the bleakest circumstances.
I think that is the basis for much of Kiwi ingenuity.
Kiwi ingenuity: This is the idea that New Zealanders display a MacGyver-like ability to solve any problem, often using unconventional means or whatever happens to be lying around. This is also described as the Number 8 wire mentality, which holds that anything can be made or fixed with basic or everyday materials, such as number 8 fencing wire. New Zealanders seen as embodying this quality include Burt Munro (subject of The World's Fastest Indian) and Richard Pearse, who some believe achieved flight before the Wright Brothers. Kiwi ingenuity is also linked to the phrase "she'll be right, mate" (shared with Australia), which expresses the belief that the situation, repairs, or whatever has been done is adequate or sufficient for what is needed. It is seen less positively than Kiwi ingenuity, especially if something goes wrong. Kiwi ingenuity is not strictly a male preserve, although it is generally spoken of in relation to men.

Plato had a handle on it way back when he said "Necessity is the mother of invention."

Crisis or opportunity? Necessity begets creativity.
Discuss this with a refugee, but possibility only when they've gotten to the point of being able to see the big picture.

Instigated by a post on In The Life of a Busy Woman

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