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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise words from all corners of the world.  Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

beach frame - Copy

Both offerings this week on Proverbial Thursday speak of opportunities. Opportunities are chances that suggest the possibility of something more.

Troll Ladder Romsdal, Norway
Trollstigen, Norway

 

If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plane –

Chinese Proverb

 

Many consider opportunities to be intrinsically linked to luck, but are they?

 

Opportunities come to us, when we open ourselves up to them –

J Wundrow

 

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Do you open yourself to possibilities?

Could they be there right under your nose?

Proverbial Thursday – always an opportunity to ponder about something!

 

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17 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom”

  1. The Chinese proverb: when you speak of luck, I suppose sometimes we create our own luck. Sometimes we have to go the distance in order to get what we want – that is, when we work, we create our own opportunities. Of course that’s not to say that sometimes we can’t get lucky. Somehow when I read the quote, I thought why not go the extra mile and try to be on that plane and see the world from above – go for that rare opportunity, make your dreams come true in the wildest of ways.

    I like how you juxtaposed your second quote with some additional thoughts below. To me, it speaks of being open-minded and going with the flow – that if we let things be and make the most of what we have, we will see what we really have. On the other hand, sometimes I think it can also be the opportunity that helps us open up ourselves to the world. Some of us prefer to be in the backrground. Nothing wrong with that…just that for some of us, we open up best when we see and feel that we’re included as part of something.

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    1. Luck is such an interesting topic and in terms of the proverb it might refer to just this. If a person sits at home, in their safe cocoon away from anything adventurous or threatening, creating for themselves a comfortable (but very restricted), environment, the possibilities of experiencing luck (and opportunities) diminish to almost zero. That is when I think the concept of ‘going the distance’ could certainly contribute to the occurrence of luck. Then again, some people do seem to land on their feet more frequently and get more chances, than others and why is that? Are they just lucky that the odds happen to fall in their favor? Is their personality an advantage? Science suggests that chance evens out in the end. But there often are serendipitous moments that feel completely out of our control. Then we are excited and feel incredibly lucky. But we all play a role to a certain extent in this luck be it by making ourselves available, working hard, or by our own charisma. By all means, we should strive to make our wildest dreams come true.
      This also connects to your comment of making the most of what we have: allowing those serendipitous chances to create those opportunities.
      Having said all that, one doesn’t have to be, as you suggested, a charismatic extroverted person to enable luck and opportunity to occur. Introverts merely need to feel included and respected to set the level of attention in order to shine in their brightest way.

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      1. ‘Are they just lucky that the odds happen to fall in their favor? Is their personality an advantage?’ These are very good questions. Looking at the bigger picture more broadly, some of us have it easier than others – we have functioning body and we are able to go about our lives on our own. Some of us can’t be on our own just because.

        I think perspective also plays a part in what some of us want and get in the end. Take for example writing a best-selling book, and J.K Rowling took years to achieve that and the way the Harry Potter series took off must have been beyond her imaginations and dreams.

        Agree that we don’t have to be loud when it comes to chasing our goals. When we put time into what we do and do what feels right to us, the more we’ll feel comfortable with ourselves and get to see what we have around us all the more clearer.

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        1. Perspective! I am sure that how resilient and persistent a person is, determines their level of success (which may be construed by others as luck).
          We might also need to look at luck in another context. That of bad luck. That of people who seem to always fall short of the mark, who fail in many endeavours, or have misfortune thrust upon them, through their own fault or no fault of their own. Equally we could question whether they had a role to play in the outcomes and whether they could control the circumstances in which they frequently find themselves? Some do, and some don’t, I think. Some people invite bad luck, due to impulsivity or thrill seeking, whilst still others may just be that one in a million chance that an accident can occur that affects them. That is bad luck. J.K. Rowling did indeed have good luck, but had seen much bad luck in her life prying to the incredible success of her books. She persisted and was resilient and impervious to failure and quitting! Such admirable qualities.
          Higher level thinking and achieving or the potential for such, does come when all our basic needs are satisfied. We must listen to our heads but also do what feels right, in our hearts. If luck and opportunity roll on from this, who would need chance and serendipity to experience fulfillment?!

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          1. ‘Some people invite bad luck, due to impulsivity or thrill seeking,’ Agree with this. Sometimes we’ll make decisions based on wants and not needs, without looking at the bigger picture. Then again, this would be called listening to our hearts and sometimes the heart just desires something. That said, we always have the choice to create our own luck, anytime, any day.

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            1. Interesting! When I first posted this proverb, I doubted that we had any kind of control over ‘luck,’ and yet this discussion has made
              me see that indeed we do! Fascinating.
              Wants versus needs. Oh yes, we need discipline and self-control to differentiate between the two and resist temptation. But it is sometimes nice to indulge ourselves and go with something we just love but don’t necessarily need. At my stage of life,I don’t feel I have to do that anymore. And I try to be environmentally aware in my decision making so excess seems so wasteful.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm… have to research that Chinese proverb. Think it means plain and not plane. Not sure if it is about luck or opportunity! Essentially it is teach that one will make decisions with myopic/short term view if one does not put in enough effort to do enough intelligence search.
    And for opportunities? They are always somewhere around. We just need to look for them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could be right about the proverb as it could have been a typo and it makes more sense for it to be ‘plain’, particularly if it is an old proverb. Thanks for the clarification. Ensuring that we are doing one ‘s research on large purchases is how to be a prudent consumer! The proverb also means we reap what we sow. Put in lots of work and gain lots, or put in minimal effort and gain a minimal benefit. Minimal effort also might minimise opportunities. More opportunities present to us if we are open to them or keep alert to their appearance.

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    1. Thank you Jo! I do try to find a photo that has some kind of connection to the words posted. Mabel often inspires a very interesting conversation! I hope you ‘ll stop by again next Thursday.

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