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The opportunity for victory

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

"The opportunity for victory is provided by the enemy." —Sun Tzu, The Art of War

It wouldn’t be an impressive use of my powers of observation to state that the CNMI is going through changes, while on the brink of many more.

The winds of change are definitely blowing.

The short list of breezes that have stirred up public dialogue, debate and even departure include federalization, immigration, wages, tourism and the overall state of the economy.

Only for so long can one stave off the winds of change that blow without prejudice on everyone. Perhaps it is time to ride those winds. Now that doesn’t mean we’ve decided that the winds of change are entirely beneficial, and it doesn’t mean passive non-resistance to some of the negative effects of those winds. And it doesn’t mean "ride it out" as in hanging on for dear life while being buffeted about.

As I said in a previous article, given that the situations and circumstances that life offers to us are potential catalysts for our growth and expansion, the response we choose can either be that of acceptance or of control.

Now by acceptance, I do not mean the passive acceptance of the fate that others have as their design for you, nor do I mean the passive acceptance of the apparent outcome of the situation. I mean acceptance that the situation is presenting an opportunity which you—through your free will—have the power to use in your best interests.

Acceptance doesn’t mean simply hoping for the best and seeing what "they" have in store for us. It doesn’t mean shaking your fist in anger, and cursing the winds as they shift the elements of your life into disarray. It doesn’t mean blindly railing against the change without cogent assessment of potential benefits. It doesn’t mean having a "pity party" for commiserating with others in your situation. It doesn’t mean waiting for a savior to rescue you. It doesn’t mean scapegoating those you perceive as threats. It doesn’t mean devolving to the level of the very forces you rail against as you search of solutions.

No. Riding the winds of change means going with the flow. It means deciding whether this represents a lesson or a challenge. It means determining what principles will inform your thoughts, decisions words and actions as you choose the path of seeking the lesson or the path of meeting the challenge. It means fighting to maintain that which is noble, precious, valuable and desirable in the face of the changes. Ultimately, acceptance means preparation.

It means asking the right questions in search of the opportunities for growth as you proceed down either path (lesson or challenge). To make the best use of all of life’s catalysts, and to optimize your growth, you may wish to ponder the following major question: "What is the affirmative use of this apparent limitation, and how can I provide benefit for the greatest number of people through such use?

A commitment to finding that answer will lead to other questions such as: What opportunities will exist that do not exist now? Where will the markets, the needs and the customers be when things change? What industries will be created or will need to be created that do not exist now? What products and services will be required? Who will wield power in the new paradigm? What languages and cultures may become more important as a result?

Now is the time to choose the strategy you will use to weather and work the winds of change. Yes, change is upon us. When the dust settles, as an old saying goes: there will be those who made it happen, those who watched it happen, and those who wonder "what happened?"

Fear not the change. But if change be your enemy, then remember, as Sun Tzu says: "The opportunity for victory is provided by the enemy."

The Opportunity for Victory

I welcome opposition
for it brings my goal to bear
I seek out every mountain
as I climb I scale my fear

I relish every obstacle
for through them lies my path
I run beneath the storm cloud
for I’m cleansed by water’s wrath

I delve into each puzzle
for I seek to crack the code
I take the path less traveled
and seek not the easy road

I smile at every setback
for to me it’s just a game
and victory’s assured
my fighter’s spirit shan’t be tamed

I yearn to face the challenge
as to wind I turn my sail
For only through engagement
shall the conqueror prevail!

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Did you know that local farmers on Papua New Guinea are using locally produced coconut oil in their vehicles as a sustainable alternative to expensive imported fuel? Hmmmm…Now there’s an opportunity for victory!

* * *

Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!


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