I’ve been thinking a bit lately on how I see the world and how others see it. Mostly in the financial sense.

I’ve noticed some things that I’ve never noticed before after having a couple of guys marry into the extended family. What I noticed is their tendency to view the world as a series of opportunities rather than a series of things that happens to them.

Several years ago, I replaced all the doors in my house. I needed to get rid of the old ones and so I had to cut them up into little gift-sized chunks so that the garbage man would take them. It took several trash pickup days but I did it. It was all just part of the hassle to me. My newest nephew-in-law (or whatever he is) was raised by parents who owned their own business – usally more than one at a time. He did the same project at his new house only when it came time to get rid of the old doors, he put them on craigslist. He ended up having somebody come pick them up from his house and pay him for the priviledge.

That never occurred to me.

In another case, I was listening to another new “nephew” (too complicated to figure out what he really is) describe his hobby of water skiing. My view of any water sport is of someone buying a boat that he really can’t afford, making payments for years, and even though he enjoys it, it eventually wears out and sits on the property and rots because he doesn’t know what else to do with it. His view is quite different. He bought a “tournament” boat by shopping for it in a part of the U.S. where they don’t ski a lot. Somebody in the former category had bought it and didn’t want it any more so he got it for a great price. He drove it down here, used it for a couple of years and sold it for more than he bought it for. He used that money to do the same thing again and so now he has a kickin’ tournament ski boat that when all the math is done, he paid a pittance for – perhaps even made money on.

He really likes his water sports so in addition to indulging in it when he can, he and some other enthusiasts decided to get involved with a competition and so put together a huge event with all sorts of sub-events, paid admission, and food sales that he catered via the restaurant he owns. He basically threw a party and charged admission. People paid to watch, to participate, and to eat.

He found something he likes and also envisioned a way to enjoy it while at the same time, making some money to offset his expenses. I suspect he ends up making money after all is said and done. Apparently catering is a huge part of any restaurant business for an energetic owner.

Again, this would never have occurred to me.

Their viewpoint is to make things happen. Mine is to wonder what happened.

What’s weird is that I never realized this about myself. Now that I realize it, what do I do?

I guess the first thing is to try and sell the detritus from my next home improvement project and see if that works.

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