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Multiplication of Opportunity

by Jason Nemrow last modified 2018-03-29 15:42

People have different attitudes about work, which isn't surprising. There is all sorts of work and there are all sorts of people. Finding the right combination of a person and a work can seem like finding a needle in a haystack! The wrong combination is depressing and unhappy to an extreme, multiplied by the time that this situation persists. On the other hand, the right combination of work and person leads to amazing fulfillment and joy, similarly multiplied though I think the math is actually more pleasant than that! There is nothing worse than doing work you are not suited for and there is nothing more fulfilling than being where you are meant to be and doing what you are meant to do.

The Internet is a great collector of evidence for these assertions about work. Websites often incorporate a rating system and employment or job sites often show how people feel about a certain company or role. It is interesting to read such ratings, where two people with the same job describe it so differently. One hates it, the other loves it. To one it is an unpleasant chore with a terrible company, to the other a wonderful opportunity in the perfect environment. I have always thought that the great difference in attitude had a something to do with the proper matching of a person to a compatible labor.

This would normally seem a monumental effort to make: finding the right job for yourself. Yet, it seems that people "stumble" onto compatible jobs on a regular basis, if statistics are to be trusted. It is my contention that this is more compelling evidence for the validity of The Psychic Proximity Principle! People seem almost magnetically drawn (albeit weakly) to work that suits them, finding something workable out of the millions of possibilities available to them, not knowing exactly how they "lucked" upon it.

Steve Jobs offered a great insight:

"I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

This is the best use of your "work" time: turning the hours into opportunities to progress toward goals that your inspiration and heart identify. Every job you do, even a less-appealing one, has an element of opportunity to it - the question is this: is it interesting and fulfilling enough for you to invest part of your life?

I remember distinctly the years 2012 and 2013. I had been working as a computer workstation tech for eight years and I knew I could do more. In my spare time, I began looking for new places and labors, from a plan to attend graduate school on the tiny Shetland Islands to joining the US Foreign Service. In the end, I upgraded both my education and technical skill set, which reinvigorated my boring life, broadened my possibilities, and convinced myself that I didn't need to sit still and "work toward retirement" in a job that had lost my interest. These changes and a few physical moves nearly doubled my income as well, but that was just a by-product of pursuing my potential.

Here was Steve's experience:

"Woz and I started Apple in my parents' garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees."

We are surrounded by similar stories of the substantial personal rewards of taking advantage of opportunities and multiplying them with hard work, so I know that this is no isolated fluke. To some extent, I did it, Steve Jobs certainly did it, and you can as well.

As I have already said, viewing our present as a chore can multiply unhappiness. If your work is bringing you down too much, it can have a multiplicative effect that could become logarithmic over time. I was about to include a graph that shows the math behind this, but that can put off a lot of people and make the concept harder than it really it.

What you need to know is this: when you are going in the right direction, everything in life seems to be better and both your happiness and your willingness to put more effort into it increases, setting up this wonderful "feedback loop" of increasingly amazing accomplishment and joy in spite of regular opposition.

On the other side of the coin, continuing to go in the wrong direction also sets up a feedback loop, one that can spiral into the depression and suicidal tendencies over time. I have found that if you need to spend a lot of your time "detoxing" from your life, with alcohol, drugs, or "television" sorts of distractions, you are probably in a self-destructive downward spiral. Such behaviors and feelings are warnings that a person needs to change things.

You can use multiplication to either improve your life or ruin it. That choice is always available to you even in the worst of circumstances. My hope is that you will choose to use the Psychic Proximity Principle to guide your direction in life and then apply your own effort and the power of multiplication to its best effect.

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