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The Way Of Opportunity

Many of us think if Karma as the gratifying bolt of lightning that strikes down those bad doers. But that's not exactly right, and when you learn what Karma is and how it works, you can find that it can be a helpful partner.

Karma is simply the law of cause and effect. If a person puts out bad will and takes actions that harm others or are selfish, harm will eventually cycle back. Equally, if a person puts out good will and cares about others, benefits will eventually cycle back.

But that's kinda a surface view. There is a cool and practical way to use this that often is not talked about.

Let's cast this in a different light and see what we can discover.

There is this thing called risk management. It's assessing the bad things that could happen and either avoiding those bad things or being prepared if they happen. There is also opportunity management which is opening (or more precisely not closing) doors that may lead to opportunity. Opportunity management is a way to take advantage of a subtlety of Karma.

John has an extra ticket to the baseball game, and he knows that Mike loves baseball. So John calls Mike and asks simply "What are you doing Friday". Mike, wanting to talk about himself and his hard week, can't wait to get his turn to talk and says "I'm so exhausted from my hard week I don't even want to move.". After Mike rants for 20 minutes, John says, "Oh, ok" and calls up another friend.

Mike shut the door to whatever John had in mind without even knowing. He did not open the door to opportunity. By thinking about himself first, he does not get to go to the baseball game.

Each time you interact with a person, take some time to think about what you want to achieve. Think about your current goal or what are you working on completing. Interact with that person with the mindset that they can, and want, to help you. That doesn't mean overtly asking for help, it just means not closing the door to any offers. It's kind of a passive openness to the constant stream of gifts the universe sends your way. You can not always imagine what another person might have in mind, so there's no harm in leaving the door open to see what they might have in mind.

Let's say you have an ice cream shop and the parking lot is regularly filled with litter. By strategically placing a garbage can, litter can all be be eliminated.

It's possible to shape events into your favor by using almost imperceptibly small actions, words, and considerations.

This is the way of no way. By simply fixing any broken windows in your building, fewer windows will get broken in the future. By simply placing a trash can beside the exit to your shop, trash will all but get eliminated from your parking lot. By simply choosing to hang out with your sifu when he travels, you may meet other interesting masters. Your simple action can cause a big result or opportunity.

The same can be done with words.

Try out these phrases that don't slam shut the door of opportunity:

  • "Why do you ask that?",

  • "Tell me more.", or

  • "What did you have in mind?"

This is the less examined subtle side of the law of cause and effect.

Imagine if Mike had said "Why do you ask?" when John called to offer him a free ballgame ticket.


If you enjoyed this article by Sifu Wayne, you might be interested in his Wing Chun Compendium books which have a section dedicated to the theories of wing chun as they apply to life as well as a philosophy section which has lessons similar to this article.

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James Fleming MD
James Fleming MD

Thank you Sifu Wayne, well said. Just being kind and available opens up doors! Jim

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