Street beggars often portray an image of failure since they are after all, beggars. Many people see them as stinky, potentially dangerous and have the capability to tell you their life story within three sentences, “Hi, my name is Joe I just came into life. I know how to sing, dance, do laundry upside down, and I have ten twins in my car right now who have an incurable disease and very hungry. I like your shirt, you are my best friend can I have ten dollars?”
Media also has portrayed them as hopeless individuals who lack direction in life and perpetually have their hand out for some reason (I’ve never seen a beggar who does that), however, recent events have shaken former views on street beggars as shown by the success story of Ted Williams, the once homeless man with the golden voice, and certain reports have shown the potential of street begging earning up to 100 thousand dollars per year! I am by no means suggesting that you completely erase all your assumptions about beggars, but I am going to show you how these underdogs are the complete opposite of what many people assume. I will show you how street beggars can help you become a luckier person.
Most street beggars are in fact people who have been given the bad end of the draw which might sometimes affect their overall attitude towards life. I remember one time me and my friend came from a party and the host hooked us up with a bunch of energy bars. We just got off the freeway and we saw this street beggar in the middle isle holding up a sign. My friend who was very diligent when it comes giving to street beggars thought it was a good idea to give him the entire bag of energy bars. I was like okay, sounds like a good idea.
She opened the window and handed him the bag of energy bars. Now everything seemed fine, we did our feel-good deed of the day, but when I looked at my rear view mirror I saw something surprising. The guy looked at the bag and when he saw they were energy bars, he angrily threw the entire bag on to the ground! I was quite shocked and so was my friend who nearly cried. What did this experience teach me?
That all street beggars are mean? Certainly not true, I’ve met a lot of street beggars and most of them are very cool dudes. What I learned from this experience was that street beggars do not feel like they are beggars. This might seem like total nonsense, but if you think about it, beggars are basically like business owners who depend entirely on luck. As proven by the guy who was able to earn 100 thousand dollars a year doing the same thing, it is basically one of the oldest and simplest business models in history – ask for money, get money. Simple right? The interesting thing is that they find a way to depend on luck, consistently! Truly I must be mistaken because one cannot depend on luck correct? Not entirely, but there is a lesson to be learned here.
Imagine yourself as a beggar? You have no money, you have no house, and you have no family to ask for help. Your answer would probably be, “start asking for money.” How would you ask for money? Walking around and asking anyone you meet for change seems to be the most logical choice, however, you’ll eventually realize that it makes you hungrier as you waste energy walking around and you won’t get much money out of it because people rarely walk outside nowadays. You’ll probably encounter a lot of joggers who don’t have a hint of green on them. In a way, you pretty much need a lot of luck in order to encounter two crucial aspects in this equation: encountering people and getting them to give you money.
This seems like quite a predicament doesn’t it? Well this brings us to to ingenuity of street beggars. The quote states that “luck is when opportunity meets preparedness.” Street beggars have evolved their tactics when it comes to asking for money and in today’s society, they have adapted to the new forms of travel. People used to walk everywhere, but now everyone drives. Street beggars have learned that the best way to create opportunities for them to meet people without having to walk a single step is by standing at the middle isles of crowded intersections where cars stop.
It’s a genius idea – intersections feel more personal because you have no choice but to face them. In crowded streets you can easily be drowned out in the ocean of strangers and you won’t catch people attention as much as you would when you are the middle of the road. The second part of being lucky is being always prepared. How do street beggars satisfy the need for preparedness? By using old-school old fashioned cardboard boxes. They hold those up so that they are always prepared to let any person within reading distance know their situation.
Knowing how to create opportunities and always being prepared, street beggars have found a way to create an opportunity out of their misfortune.
You can easily apply this to your personal endeavors and give yourself an advantage, luck-wise. For example, many people find looking for a job quite a luck-dependent situation. You need to find a way to increase the number of opportunities and increase your preparedness. How do you keep prepared? Make sure you have prepared a set of pre-written resumes for each type of job you are capable of applying to. So for example, have a resume especially made for costumer service, a resume for teaching job, a resume for programming – basically have a resume for every potential job field you want to enter into so that when you find an opportunity you can act immediately.
How do you increase your job opportunity? You need to spot the false opportunities and the real opportunities. Example of false opportunities for job placements would be marketing campaigns disguised as job fairs, fake craigslist ads, and unfortunately many online job search engines often yield a very small amount of actual job for seekers because the structure is leveraged in favor of employers.
What is the best way to increase your opportunities for a job? The first thing you should do and the best one so far is to announce the fact that you are looking for a job to all your family and friends. This is the reason why recent studies have shown the biggest predictor of success is emotional intelligence and not skills or education. Emotional intelligence helps people with social networking by knowing how to forge lasting positive relationship with people they encounter thus helping them gain more opportunities to grow financially in the future. Emotional intelligence is that whisper inside your head telling you slashing someone’s tire out of anger may not the best thing to do, or, a less extreme example, making sure you are in good terms with everyone before you leave your previous employment so that you can approach them easily for future business opportunities. The more people you know, the more good opportunities you have of finding a job and finding a good job.
This brings us back to our street beggar friends. These guys know how to consistently improve their luck by maximizing opportunities and staying prepared which is why they are able to survive despite being faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.
Maximize opportunity and always be prepared and you will be successful. You can apply this principle to many things in life, not just job opportunities. I can imagine this being applicable to sports, fitness, education and even dating. This personally has communicated to me that you can learn surprising epiphanies from the most unlikely characters. Keeping an open mind and the curiosity of a child can certainly help you divulge some of life’s most interesting mysteries.