The value of small opportunities

pennies-e1341842510344No matter where we go, my husband always finds a penny on the ground.

It’s uncanny. Grocery shopping, in the parking lot at our gym, walking the kids to school, at the movies, on a quick trip to Home Depot, pennies just appear in his path. He always picks them up triumphantly and shows them off to me with a grin.

“It’s a flippin’ penny for Pete’s sake!,” I would say, handing him the mini-sanitizer.

“Now if you find a Benjamin, THEN we may have a cause for celebration.”

But recently it hit me:

Sometimes that’s what extraordinary opportunities look like when they first appeardirty pennies on the ground that others refuse to pick up.

Imagine how much value we’ve walked past in our lives. How many opportunities we’ve missed because they weren’t wearing a huge neon sign that read, “Dig a little deeper, I’m worth it”.

We do that with people, too.

Managers sometimes won’t bother working with a diamond in the rough. They would rather hire someone who is great right out of the box, and sometimes that is the right way to go.

We do that with people in our lives, as well. If they aren’t a perfect fit in our world, we simply discard them.

But I’ve learned that in most cases, there is room for most types of people in our less than perfect worlds, and even less than perfect companies.

Developing talent in a team resonates with its workforce. It generates feelings of loyalty and optimism towards the organization. Constructive conversations with a friend can help sculpt their personal sense of well being.

We were all pennies once, ’til someone noticed us and decided to brush us off, put us in their pocket and make us feel like we were worth something.

So, here’s to all of you out there that pick up those pennies or choose to chisel ‘Davids’ out of talented rock. Like my husband, you see the real prize at the end.

2 thoughts on “The value of small opportunities

  1. Such a great, thought-provoking post. I think that when you are in-tune with “the penny” you will always find them. My “penny” is strange things in the shape of a heart. I take photos of them and pretend they were planted there just for me…!

  2. Totally agree with you Hiddinsight. I think you have to be willing to expect small victories, too though. It’s mind boggling how people will leave change on the ground but spend a buck on lotto every week for years. Says something about us.

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