I had dinner with my old classmates recently. Over a sumptuous spread of sushi, we talked about how we were getting on in life and our plans for the future. One of them, G had started a webstore and was thinking of taking a 6 months sabbatical off her job to focus on the business. I remembered she had a close friend who ran an ecommerce store full time and reminded G to seek her advice.
“Oh, wasn’t you aware? She went back to the corporate world.” G blurted out just as I popped a piece of salmon sushi into my mouth. I nearly choked.
“Huh? You mean she’s no longer working on her business?” I muffled. “What’s she doing now?”
“She went back to being a secretary.” G explained, taking a sip off her cup of green tea. “You know, it can be really nerve wrecking just surviving on the business’ income. It’s too unstable.” G nibbled on a piece of meguro sashimi and continued, “So after several months working solely on the store, she took on another part-time job. Sales related. But that industry was too competitive and newcomers like her had no edge. She called it quits and finally went back to her old line. But she’s still manning the webstore on the side though.”
I put down my chopsticks. Read more
A teacher announced to her class “We’re going to be the most improved class of the month!”.
The students looked at her bewildered, “But, Teacher, we’re the worst performing class in the whole school for the past few months! It’s going to be difficult… ” They sighed, lowering their heads at the same time.
“Let me ask you a question, children.” She paused, peering at the kids to make sure she had their attention. “Which is easier? To improve from a score of ’0′. Or from ’100′?” The students’ faces brightened.
When I first read about this story in a newsletter, I couldn’t help smiling. It’s a very simple tale. Perhaps even cliché. But what’s behind the message really sunk into my head. The defeatist always see their stagnant circumstances as limiting. Potentially hopeless. But the optimist? Read more