Monday, June 17, 2024

Vine Media

葡萄樹傳媒

事業成功:運氣或努力?

我們許多人都熟悉成功的溫蒂漢堡連鎖店已故創立者大衛.湯瑪斯所說的話:「似乎我愈努力工作,我的運氣就愈好。」我很喜歡的一個商業專欄作家哈維.馬凱有一個稍微不同的觀點:「運氣?不。事業成功需要冒風險、有創意、了解市場並對所得到的資訊有所回應。然後運氣就會每天冒出來。我敢打賭,事情一定是這樣!」

請想想:可口可樂從無足輕重的頭痛藥水變成國際知名、最暢銷的飲料,這是運氣嗎?李維(Levi)牛仔褲用鉚釘而不用釦子。這只是回應礦工所需要褲子的「幸運」決定嗎?

雙聖公司在決定處理260噸剩下的火雞肉時,只是靠運氣嗎?「電視餐」的新點子是來自一位雙聖公司的業務員,他記得以前在美國陸軍服役時,吃飯的餐盤有三個區格。他就用軍中餐食的方式去解決那兩百多噸的剩肉:火雞肉作為主菜,再加上兩個配菜。不久,這就變成一個創新的想法,做出速食餐來因應這個不斷改變又忙碌之社會的需求。

大衛.湯瑪斯和哈維.馬凱都觀察到:事業(以及大多數的事情)中的運氣通常是以下事項的副產品:努力、創意、觀察入微、當機會出現時堅定地決定利用那機會。

聖經充滿許多支持這觀點的奇妙例子:

在摩利亞山上「碰巧」有一隻公羊被纏在樹叢中,所以那羊就剛好可以代替以撒作為亞伯拉罕獻給上帝的祭物嗎(請看創世記22章13節)?創世記45章8節記載約瑟成為埃及宰相,使他在以色列人遭遇饑荒時正好可以幫助他們。這純粹是巧合嗎?出埃及記14章29節記載海水分開立起,使上帝的子民可以在乾地上走過。這是恰好發生在對的時間和對的地點的所謂運氣嗎?

直覺、時機、市場狀況和努力工作都是成功的因素,但我要提到另一個因素:上帝的引導與眷顧。當年英國的清教徒就是因為這個因素,所以敢渡海來到美國這個新世界。

有人曾寫道:「至高神永恆的心意顯明出來,成就所有道德和實際的事。」我們可能無法完全了解,但上帝的眷顧與人的自由意志密切連結,所以這不是宿命。這必須與祂的公義、能力與慈愛結合在一起。

請思想聖經的保證:「我們曉得萬事都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益處,就是按他旨意被召的人」(羅馬書8章28節)。

思想 / 討論題目
在你的經驗中,你認為工作或其他事上的成功,「運氣」扮演什麼角色?請舉一或二例來支持你的觀點。 雖然大衛.湯瑪斯和哈維.馬凱用不同的方式陳述,但他們都同意,愈努力工作,運氣就愈好。對此你有和看法?請解釋。 本文作者引述許多聖經中的例子,看起來好像是運氣好的情況。你怎麼看那些狀況? 本文作者最後說他相信上帝的眷顧(祂的供應與引導)與人類每天的事件有直接的關係。你是否同意?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇37篇4-5節;箴言3章5-6節,10章4節,12章11節;耶利米書29章11、13節;帖撒羅尼迦後書3章10節

SUCCESS IN BUSINESS: LUCK, OR HARD WORK?

By: Robert D. Foster

Many of us are familiar with the quote from the late Dave Thomas, founder of the highly successful Wendy”s restaurant chain: "It seems the harder I work, the luckier I get." One of my favorite columnists on marketplace issues, Harvey Mackay, takes a somewhat different view: "Lucky? NO. Good business. Taking risks, being creative, and reading and reacting to markets will trump luck every day. You can bet on that!"

Consider this: Was it luck that transformed Coca-Cola from an inconsequential headache medicine into an internationally known, top-selling soft drink? Was the concept for Levi denim jeans, utilizing rivets instead of buttons, simply a “lucky” decision in response to miners that needed pants?

Or was it luck, or good fortune, that was involved in determining what the Swanson Company do with 260 tons of leftover turkeys? The novel idea for “TV dinners” was the product of one Swanson salesman who remembered his days serving in the U.S. Army and the three-compartment trays that were used for meals. The result of applying the military meal approach to the “problem” of many tons of leftover food: Frozen turkey and two side dishes. Before long, it turned into an innovative concept for quick-serve meals to meet the needs of a changing, busy society.

As both Dave Thomas and Harvey Mackay observed, “luck” in business – and in most endeavors – usually is a byproduct of hard work, creativity, perception and a dogged determination to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

The Bible is filled with examples of amazing circumstances that support this view:

Was it “lucky” that a ram was caught in the bush on top of Mt. Moriah, so that it – and not Isaac – could serve as Abraham”s sacrifice to God? (See Genesis 22:13). Was it “mere chance” that Joseph became prime minister of Egypt, putting him in a position to intervene for the people of Israel during a time of famine, as we see in Genesis 45:8? What it “luck” – simply being in the right place at the right time – that caused the waters to pile up so God’s children could walk on dry land, as recounted in Exodus 14:19?

Yes – instinct, timing, market conditions and hard work are all part of the formula for success. But I would like to suggest an additional consideration: the role of Divine Guidance or “Providence,” the word often used by the Pilgrims who dared to journey from England to the shores of the New World.

As someone has written, "God, sovereign One, that His eternal purposes might be revealed, molds all events, both moral and physical." We may not understand it fully, but God’s providence is so combined with human freedom that it is not fatalism. It must be tied in with His justice, power and benevolence.

Consider this assurance from the Scriptures: "For we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love the Lord, even to those who are the called according to His purposes" (Romans 8:28).

Reflection/Discussion Questions

1. From your experience, what role do you think that “luck” or “being lucky” plays in being successful, at work or other endeavors? Cite an example or two to support your view.

2. Although they state their positions in different ways, both Dave Thomas and Harvey Mackay seemed to agree that the harder people work, the “luckier” they become. What is your perspective on this? Explain your answer.

3. Robert Foster cites several biblical examples of circumstances in which at first glance it might appear that luck or good fortune was involved. How do you view those situations?

4. Mr. Foster closes by stating that he believes God”s providence – His purposeful provision and guidance – is directly involved in the everyday affairs of humankind. Do you agree? Why or why not?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:

Psalm 37:4-5; Proverbs 3:5-6, 10:4. 12:11; Jeremiah 29:11,13; 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Taken and adapted from The Challenge, written and published by Robert D. and Rick Foster. Permission to reproduce with proper credit is freely given and encouraged.

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