An elderly couple retired to the countryside – to a small isolated cottage overlooking some rugged and rocky heathland.
One early morning the woman saw from her window a young man dressed in working clothes walking on the heath, about a hundred yards away. He was carrying a spade and a small case, and he disappeared from view behind a copse of trees.
The woman thought no more about it but around the same time the next day she saw the man again, carrying his spade and a small case, and again he disappeared behind the copse. The woman mentioned this to her husband, who said he was probably a farmer or gamekeeper setting traps, or performing some other country practice that would be perfectly normal, and so not to worry.
However after several more sightings of the young man with the spade over the next two weeks the woman persuaded her husband to take a stroll – early, before the man tended to arrive – to the copse of trees to investigate what he was doing. There they found a surprisingly long and deep trench, rough and uneven at one end, becoming much neater and tidier towards the other end.
“How strange,” the old lady said, “Why dig a trench here – and in such difficult rocky ground?” and her husband agreed.
Just then the young man appeared – earlier than his usual time.
“You’re early,” said the old woman, making light of their obvious curiosity, “We wondered what you were doing – and we also wondered what was in the case.”
“I’m digging a trench,” said the man, who continued, realising a bigger explanation was appropriate, “I’m actually learning how to dig a good trench, because the job I’m being interviewed for later today says that experience is essential – so I’m getting the experience. And the case – it’s got my lunch in it.”
He got the job.
Opportunity meets preparation.
What you do matters a great deal while you wait for a job, a promotion or an investor. Usually, the constant behaviour many people adopt is to grumble and complain. Now, the bad news is, while you complain and sulk, you lose focus and fail to develop yourself.
How else can you prove that you have a skill or talent if you do not lose yourself in that skill, while practising constantly in order to be better?
What better way to get noticed? No one cares about how much you loud your abilities on the rooftops. Talk is cheap and action is the bestseller.
One day you will have the opportunity to show the world what you can do. Don’t be under-developed for your big day.
Your use may have been for mashed potatoes, but one day you will be the French fry, standing unique and different.
So do yourself a favour and get the experience you need by taking the initiative of practising and becoming better today.