Danger = Crises + Opportunity 

As more and more federal agencies close and hiring freezes pop up everywhere, many of us find ourselves unceremoniously dumped back into the scrambling work force. We could be forgiven for believing this a terrible thing and it probably is for many. But not for most, believe it or not. 

 My work is people-intensive and people talk to their hairdresser. Or, they should. We know a lot of stuff, because we love to listen. We can be a kind of a touchy-feely Cone of Silence. All day, every day we listen to all sorts of people in all sorts of professions who do all sorts of things. We talk about hearts desires and we talk about business. A lot. 

So when I start hearing the same thing over and over again from these people, who come from completely different backgrounds, I know I’m on to something. Are these people updating their resumes, setting up interviews, networking their Facebook page? Nope. What I’m hearing people say over and over is, “”I think I’m going to go do something different.” 

So many of us hang on to mediocre paychecks and unpleasant bosses and ridiculous commutes because we feel stuck. Then boom—everything blows up. At first we feel like we’re in danger and the normal, human response to danger is fight or flight. We fight to hang on to what we had because it’s what we know. We’re in a habit of a life and habits are hard to break. Or we want to run fast and far away and sometimes that’s just not possible. After those first impulses, though, maybe we begin to feel a secret exhilaration, as if a difficult decision has been made for us and we’re free.

In the Chinese written language the character used for danger is actually made from two characters, ‘crises’ and ‘’opportunity’ . They believed every crises contains in it the seed for a new opportunity, and it’s true. It does. We just have to open our perception enough to see the opportunity, especially if is an opportunity so small we could miss it, overlook it, discard it like we would a seed. Instead, let’s plant the seed and go do something different.

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