Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Oz Principle and Don't be Afraid of the Word NO!

At work, we are reading this book called The Oz Principle, it’s a voluntary book club and we will have discussions throughout the reading of it, but I read the beginning of Chapter 1 and I see something that I believe in and voice a lot but never thought to find it in a book called the Wizard of Oz. It really opened my eyes. 

     “Who are you?” asked the Scarecrow when he had stretched himself and yawned, “and where are you going?” 
     “My name is Dorothy,” said the girl, “and I am going to the Emerald City, to ask the great Oz to send me back to Kansas.”
     “Where is the Emerald City?” he inquired; “and who is Oz?”    “Why, don’t you know? She returned, in surprise. “No, indeed, I don’t know anything. You see, I am stuffed, so I have no brains at all,” he answered sadly. “Oh,” said Dorothy; “I’m awfully sorry for you.” “Do you think,” he asked, “if I go to the Emerald City with you that Oz would give me some brains?” “I cannot tell,” she returned; “but you may come with me, if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains you will be no worse off than you are now.” “That is true,” said the Scarecrow. --The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum 

      There have been many times in my life that I have given up on something I wanted or needed because I would talk myself out of it. Thinking to myself that someone would tell me no or some other obstacle would stop me or prevent me from achieving my goal. 

     But with age comes wisdom! Several years ago when I was trying to get pre-approved to buy my first home, the bank gave me a number that they would approve for me. It was about $10,000 less than the asking price of the home. I was doomed. I called my sister and we cried on each other’s shoulder, sad that this was not to be, my pretty little house was just a dream…a far-away, unreachable dream. 

     As we drove to the house to let the seller know that I was not approved for their asking price it dawned on me that I was approved for a certain amount. What if instead of saying, “Sorry, I can’t give you your asking price,” and walking away with my tail tucked between my leg I said to them, “I can’t give you your asking price, but I can offer this.” What did I have to lose? I already didn't have the house and had lived my whole life without it. I was already resigned to the fact that the bank would not pre-approve me for what I wanted and I wasn't going to get the house anyway. I would be no worse off than I was now, but I at least needed to give it a shot, right? 

     So I did it, I offered them the amount that I was pre-approved for and lo and behold…they accepted my offer and I got the house. So I learned a valuable lesson, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE WORD NO! Reach for what you want, in the end you will be no worse off than how you started. If you go into a situation with a mindset that you have already been defeated, then the only thing that defeated you was YOU. 


  1. Amen Sister!!! You have thought me a lot and now I go to you for advice. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching me so much during the time we've known each other. I am a better person now, thanks to you.

    1. As I said on may be wiser and smarter because of me and vice versa as I have learned a lot from you as well but you've always been a "better person" and I'm very proud of you as a co-worker, friend, mother, wife, sister and daughter.

  2. Such sage advice. I learned that a few years ago too but I don't remember from which book I read it. It's a very good lesson that I am happy to be reminded of.

    1. Words have a powerful impact and I know myself that things sink in when I see them in writing! Right now the desktop on my work computer says "You can't live a positive life with a negative mind." It helps to have reminders. Thanks for the comment JarieLyn and again, my thoughts are with you after the loss of your beloved Sasha.

  3. Much of the world's creativity goes up in smoke with self doubt. Three cheers for your success with the home.

    Your story reminds me of a job interview I went for. Just out of the Air Force I was babbling about my keen abilities to fix black boxes. I can see the guy is biding time to be polite but this interview was going no where.

    Finally, in a rare fit of courage, I said to the guy Mr. Jones I get the distinct feeling that I am wasting your time. What exactly are you looking for? He replied that this job was for a technician in s materials testing lab. I said Oh, do you have any Tinius Olsen Tensile Testing machines? He brightened up and said no but they did have some other brand. So I then proceed to tell about the hunk of torsion bar from an old Plymouth that I brought in to my strength of materials class in college. We put it in the Tinius Olsen Torsion Tester. It took an incredible amount of torque but finally the bar snapped. One end flew out of the chuck whizzed past our heads bounced off a wall and stood up on end and spun look a top for about 5 minutes. It burnt a hole through the floor tile down into the concrete.

    From the guy's body language and fidgeting looking at his watch, I went from despair to getting the job by remembering a brand name of a testing machine that I used maybe twice during a semester of college. By speaking up I got the job.

    The place I retired out of called me with a slightly better offer. Fortuitous, the lab went up in smoke with the corporation. I would have been in the street in my mid 40s.

    1. There you go! Great example. That is one thing that they should teach you in high school and college...go for broke at job interviews. You already don't have the job, so don't hold back, just do whatever it takes to get the job. Well...other than lie and commit fraud.

      I remember a high school teacher Mrs. Watte did tell me once that when you go to a job interview and they ask you if you know how to use a certain machine or procedure to just say yes and then once you have the job and they expect you to use said machine or do said procedure ask them to show you once how to do it just so you can do it using their method and then learn on the quick. That has worked for me several times.

      But I doubt I could have learned on the quick to use any of the equipment you used in your labs.

      Speaking of businesses that went up in smoke, several years ago I went to work for a bank in their repossession department. I loved that job and had a great office and the pay and benefits were super. Then one day after working there about 8 months they gathered us all together to let us know the bank had been purchased by another bank and our branch would be closing in a year. They asked us to stay through the closing and then we would get 1 years severance pay with full benefits and then we could apply for unemployment after that. Needless to say, I stayed and didn't know at the time but I was pregnant with my son so I got to stay home with him for two years! Sometimes bad things happen for good reasons!


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