Sam Walton's (Made in America: My Story) rule No:10 is Swim upstream.
"Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you're headed in the wrong way."
He built the first discount store in a town with less than 50,000 population and from 1 to 8 to hundred stores in US, and now in North America and overseas. He totally proved a lot of skeptics wrong and made the competitors baffled. Walmart is truly an American success story.
Reflecting on his life and experiencing the sickness brought by cancer, he bemoaned, "I don't know that anybody else has ever done it quite like me: started out as pure neophyte, learned his trade, swept the floor, rung the cash register, installed the fixtures, remodeled the stores, built the organization, etc."
It takes a lot of courage to swim upstream, where there are less pathways made out for the traveller. Beware of the people that you listen to and seek counsel with, a wrong advice can bring down faster down the drain. Commit to your enterprise and wholeheartedly believe that it will happen for you.
In Asia, bamboos abound. In the place where I grew up, bamboos grow everywhere.
We always equate bamboo with resilience in the context of stormy winds, hurricanes, strong rains and floods. It is very strong but it's strength doesn't come from resisting those natural forces but being able to bend but not break. Once the storm is over, these bamboos could snap back to its form, no problem.
For businesses people and executives suffering from small crisis to big upheavals, how is your resilience level? Do you snap back after a personal crisis, a sickness, losing a loved one, losing a job, getting fired, or just an unexpected turn of events in your life and career? These crises are catastrophic and any person can be physically, emotionally, and psychologically debilitated by these events.
Take note, resilience doesn't mean you don't feel pain or suffer from it. It just means that you can recover from any challenges quickly and become a better person in the process. It means taking all the challenges as fuel for the next level of personal growth and accomplishment. It means owning up your part of the problem without assigning blame, feeling resentment, and being bitter about the situation.
When we bend, we don't break. We let things go, things that we cannot control and let it takes its own course. The bending is for our betterment and this is not a sign of cowardice or timidity or weakness, but a sign of wisdom and great sense of balance and inward strength. As the cliché goes, 'this too shall pass.'
What do you think?
Both my nephew and niece, play this children's game..
Would you rather have an ice cream or a popsicle?
Would you rather play baseball or basketball?
Would you rather live in Canada or in the Philippines?
Would you rather go to the beach or hike in the mountains?
Would you rather be a lawyer or a doctor?
Would you rather be stranded in the island or stranded inside the cave or swim in shark tank?
Would you rather so on and so on....
Did you get the drift?
This is always in binaries. This or that. Tit or Tat. The Devil or the deep blue sea.
Binaries are narrow specs we put ourselves in because we think that is the only way to be or to have.
For those that resist the binaries, there are more options and opportunities awaiting. There is joy in the discovery of knowing who you really are and what makes you tick.
For those the accept what is being offered and resign to whatever is given, it is just the devil or the deep blue sea.
This is one of the learnings of all time.
If you want to get a better deal, ask for it.
Negotiating your interest and what favors you is very important. There is no one on earth who can actually speak for you than yourself.
Whether it is asking for a raise, getting your internet provider/cable costs reduced, getting clients to honor payment deadlines, subcontractors working on their deliverables, buying a house, getting bought out, selling your business, these things do not go in your favor naturally. The other party would have their interests as their main driver/motivation.
Did you notice that usually the one giving advice to you has their interest on their own and not yours? Some time ago, a new acquaintance said that I have to get trained on this particular model to get a particular client's business or even attention. Well, to tell you the truth, getting to another training to get certified is not the best use of time. It does not guarantee business at all. With that and a ticket, you can get on the bus.
There is nothing wrong with getting your deal the way that you want it. Sometimes, you wont and sometimes you do. But asking all the time and not accepting blindly what is being offered is the best policy.
Have you actually asked for a better deal?
Do not ask for permission, ask for a better deal.
For 2o19, I wish you and your family a happy, joyful, and fulfilling 2019. May all your dreams come true and may your path lead you to better outcomes.
There's a saying, in matters of principles, stand like a rock, in matters of taste, stand like a bamboo (that's my way of putting it!).
The world will throw everything at you, even the toilet sink if you permit it. When it comes to your principles and values, stand firm and do not compromise.
Norms and trends may change overtime, creating polarized societies that come from very extreme positions. But values of compassion, kindness, generosity, civility, justice, and fairness -all these things make up for better people, better societies, better citizens.
Fairness and justice are words spoken easily but hard to advocate and reflect in your own life. It is not about the money. It is not about exacting revenge or causing aggravation. It is about claiming what is due, no more, no less. It is about saying, "there is no real peace or moving on, or forgiveness, or reconciliation, when there is no real justice."
And real justice is elusive in this day and age. But when we all aspire to become just, fair, and peaceful, there is always room for dialogue, for meeting of the minds, where win-win is possible.