Disadvantage vs. Opportunity

“Opportunity: often it comes in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” ~ Napoleon Hill

When Courtney stated, “You’d find this book really interesting,” about Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success I knew she’d be right and started reading then and there. What I didn’t expect was that his ideas would be relevant so immediately and while holidaying, to boot!

In his chapter, “The Three Lessons of Joe Flom” he explains how “Jewish doctors and lawyers did not become professionals in spite of their humble origins. They became professionals because of their humble origins.” He explains how seeming disadvantages – being an ‘outsider’ Jewish immigrant garment worker or the child of one, in fact, provided opportunities for future success.

While our holiday experiences are quite simplistic in comparison, the book prompted a simple twist in thinking from negative to positive. Suddenly, whenever we encountered a ‘problem’ I started looking for what opportunity would come out of it. And each time, the cancellation, problem, delay, led to a BETTER circumstance than what we’d originally hoped for!! Here are a few examples that Courtney and I ran into from Cairns & Port Douglas to Darwin & Kakadu National Park!

Thanks for the bikes, Gilligan’s!

Disadvantage: disuaded from snorkeling in Cairns –> Opportunity: free half day bike rental.

Disadvantage: looking like dumbfounded tourists –> Opportunity: recommendation from a local to a delish burger joint.

Disadvantage: finding nothing at the cheesy market booths –> Opportunity: instead spending $15 on the best 25 min massage imaginable.

Disadvantage: busted boat on the morning we meant to snorkel –> Opportunity: finding a company with a smaller boat (fewer people!) and better reef sites to snorkel at! Whoop!

Thanks for the snorkeling opportunity, Aristocat!

Disadvantage: SUPER loud club below our not-so-clean hostel room upon 1 am arrival in Darwin –> Opportunity: calling a hotel at 3 am with an 24 hour reception AND available rooms for the next night. Double bonus: appreciating the much better-and-bigger-than-average new hotel room more than we would have; soaking up the rays at the magnificent pool; being better located halfway between the two main attractions. Best disadvantage of the trip!

Thanks for the Hot Wheels, Bargain Car!

Disadvantage: car rental booking through tourist information overlooked by rental company –> Opportunity: arriving early enough to get the brand new car assigned to someone else that hadn’t shown up yet!

Disadvantage: having a half hour extra driving time each day by being outside the “town” in Kakadu –> Opportunity: getting one last dip in the pool after a hot day of walking before the long leg back to Darwin airport!

Disadvantage: a ridiculous 1:15 am flight arriving at home at 9 am –> Opportunity: no wasted travel day!

What ‘disadvantages’ or ‘problems’ have you been confronted with that led to opportunities? 

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2 thoughts on “Disadvantage vs. Opportunity

  1. Read your post just before leaving work to pick up the kids mid-day from a friends !!) and walked in my door and promptly … DISADVANTAGE: dropped a bowl on my foot, cut it open, blood everywhere ADVANTAGE: re-reading your post, thinking that I may just have to sit outside for the rest of the afternoon in the glorious sunshine with my foot up packed in ice and not go back to work!!!
    Glad you had a great trip…can’t wait to hear more!!! xox

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