The Daily Stoic for August 16th, “Anything Can Be An Advantage”.
“Just as the nature of rational things has given to each person their rational powers, so it also gives us this power—just as nature turns to its own purpose any obstacle or any opposition, sets its place in the destined order, and co-opts it, so every rational person can convert any obstacle into the raw material for their own purpose.”—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.35
While it turned out to be false, JFK famously said that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two characters: “danger” and “opportunity”. Today’s stoic suggests that we can turn our weaknesses into advantages, or a bad situation into a good one.
We all have areas in which we simply don’t excel. In my case, it’s probably social communication, selling and networking -how’s that for an entrepreneur, huh? -. How can that be an advantage?
As I know I am an introvert, I have learned to communicate, promote and sell by other means. Basically, for me it implies writing, sharing my knowledge, and helping others. This blog is a prime example of how you can turn a disadvantage into one of your main assets.
Anything Can Be An Advantage
This does not only apply to our strengths and weaknesses but also to our everyday situations. Let me illustrate that with a short story.
Some days ago, I hired a freelancer to do a job that I was doing for my new business. It was one of those repetitive, tedious tasks that take a lot of time but not a lot of expertise.
However, even though not very difficult, this task was an essential process -or so I thought- of my business.
As I was kind of overwhelmed by other tasks, I was not diligent enough to check that the work was being done in time. Long story short, some days before the deadline, I found out the freelancer had not been working on her tasks even when I insisted on the tight deadline and the need to have everything in time. What’s worse, there was no way to finish in time when I found out.
After an initial panic moment, I made a serious analysis of the situation, re-assessed all the processes involved, and got to the conclusion that the provider that was expected to receive that data could take care of that too. So in a way, without even knowing it, I was duplicating work.
Thus, due to this crisis situation, I’ve been able to optimize one of the processes of my business, and that means saving money, time and effort.
That also shows that past day’s stoic, “There is always more room to maneuver than you think” was right.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Anything Can Be An Advantage”, discusses how sometimes we can turn even the worst situation into a new opportunity.