Things Happen

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Things happen – some we want, some we do not want, some we plan for, some are unexpected, some are good, some are bad. Lots of us work very hard for things that we want to happen. The batter wants to hit the ball, the pitcher wants the batter to miss the ball, the student wants to graduate, the teacher wants their students to succeed, the owner wants the company to be profitable and so on.

There are times, however, that we are very lucky when some things do not happen. Some of these things were based on our efforts and some just showed up unexpectedly. Here is my latest example of a happening that could have been a whole lot of bad.

It was about 6 pm on a very hot day. I was doing a little repair on our back patio. My wife was out of town and I was home alone. The task was finished successfully (yeah me). I got up from a sitting position and the unexpected thing started to happen.

Here is what happened:  I stumbled. I was unable to stop myself from stumbling to the concrete patio. I did manage to connect with an object on my way down. The object was the wooden fence bordering the small patio area. Sometimes connecting is good – not this time. The part of me that connected with fence was the left side of my face. For the squeamish, please know that all is OK. The end result of the fall was that I was prone on the concrete patio. The fall did not take more than a few microseconds. A few things did happen:  my glasses were knocked off and landed on the other side of the fence;  the only bleeding was from the bridge of my nose where I had a minor skin scrape; there were 2 bone bruises near the outside of my eye; there was puffiness and a deepening red-purple color surrounding the eye.

Here is what did not happen:  I was never unconscious. My glasses did not shatter and push glass into me. My eye was not punctured or gouged by anything. My nose was not broken. My ear was not injured. I have no headaches, dizziness, blurred vision or any other indicator of medical risk. Bottom line analysis shows that I was very fortunate.

 The moral of this tale is to recognize that when things happen there are at least two opposing results. Some we want, some we do not want. As I tell my coaching clients – ‘expect the unexpected’ as life continues to happen as much as we try to plan and control it. We need to be able to deal with things that happen along with the things that do not happen. In this way, we can take advantage of really good results that allow us to keep on our journey to explore the things that will impact what we do and who we are.

Richard Oppenheim
Richard Oppenheim helps individuals and companies get better. His effort is to deliver short term actions that will serve as the foundation for achieving long term goals, such as getting unstuck. He maps what is desired with what can be accomplished and then help create a personal road map for going forward.

As a CPA, Richard was an early innovator of computer based resources. Over the years, his efforts have integrated lots of business processes, personal actions, technology resources and decision making. He has developed computer based professional education courses and co-founded a company providing on-line education courses covering the areas of security, management and control over IT operations.

As an adjunct professor at NYU's Graduate School of Business, Richard served as a Director with NYU's Management Decision Laboratory. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and did post-graduate work at New York University.

His writing includes books, magazine columns, computer product reviews, feature articles, trade association pamphlets, book editing and ghostwriting.

His journey continues as he endeavors to guide and illuminate the path that others need to take.
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