Possibilities exist all around us almost all the time. Problem is too often we do not recognize them because they are not what we expect them to be. It is not that we are not open to possibilities; rather it is that we are not open to the unexpected. Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist Way, describes it this way: “We tend to believe we must go out and shake a few trees to make things happen. I would not deny that shaking a few trees is good for us. In fact, I believe it is necessary. I call it ‘doing the footwork’. I want to say, however, that while the footwork is necessary, I have seldom seen it pay off in a linear fashion. It seems to work more like we shake the apple tree and the universe delivers oranges.”
Has that ever happened to you? Thirty years ago it happened to me. At the time I had a blossoming career at a large regional bank. But I had become restless, wanting to grow faster than I was. So, I began to quietly shake a few trees to see if there was something different I could do with the experience I had gained. Then one day it was announced that our banking company had been sold to another entity. The very next day I received five phone calls inviting me to interview, but they were not interviews I had expected – not from the trees I had been shaking. I had been shaking the apple tree you see, but the universe delivered oranges, what turned out to be quite lucrative career opportunities.
Possibilities do indeed exist all around us, but in order to recognize them we must expect the unexpected to occur. Especially in these tough economic times it is a good thing for us to remember, to keep shaking the apple tree. If we do sooner or later the universe will deliver – but don’t be surprised if its oranges instead of apples.