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Turning Sh!t Into Gold

Turning Sh!t Into Gold

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 by Mark Gunter *

Alchemy [al-chem-y] noun.

1 : a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
2 : a power or process of transforming something common into something special
3 : an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting

OK, this article is not about alchemy, in the literal sense. It's about doggie poo and creative thinking.

You know, some people just seem to have that "Midas touch", succeeding in business ventures and investments that for most folk are simply too risky and likely to end in disaster. Then there's your Aunt Betty who just seems to have a green thumb, she can easily feed you from her vegetable garden and could probably grow a garden of thriving petunias in the middle of the Sahara desert. Some folk seem to easily be able to tap into the sort of creativity and positive thinking that can transform the crappiest of circumstances into something good.

I could write some pretty interesting stories about faith, and about creative thinking, and probably could even give some useful advice on ways to aid you in accomplishing the near-impossible through faith, a positive attitude and creativity . . . peppered with cliches like, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But I just want to tell you about the recent developments in Taiwan instead.

New Taipei City, Taiwan, faces the same general problems of most municipalities in the world, including a doggie-poop problem. City officials deserve a little gold star for creative thinking in honor of the manner they attacked the poochie-poo issue in 2011: They came up with the idea of organizing a prize drawing for participants who clean up after their pets. For each little bag of canine crap a citizen turned in, the city gave them a ticket in the drawing.

First prize: A gold ingot worth $2,200. Second-through-fifth place winners get smaller gold ingots. This program was so successful that more than 14,500 bags of poop were brought in, and the volume of dog-doody on the streets and public spaces was cut in half. The puppie-poo lotteries are now a regular event in Taipei!

Now, here are some tips on turning sh!t into gold for the rest of us who do not live in Taipei:

1. Don't underestimate the power of faith. The Bible is replete with examples. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, but through faith Joseph rose in prominence in the land of his owners, and in the end he not only prospered, but saved his brothers and an entire nation from famine and an untimely death. Haaman who persecuted righteous Mordecai was in the end hanged on the gallows that he had built to hang Mordecai on, while Mordecai rose to prominence. Often in the Bible we see a theme wherein things that men intend for evil, God turns to good. So keep the faith.

2. Keep your creative eyes open, and train your mind to open doors rather than close them. You have incredible power in just this one simple thing: Train your thinking and your attitude! When there is something you want to attain to, or must attain to . . . when there are circumstances that seem oppressive or impossible . . . ask yourself "How can I overcome this?" or "How can I attain this?" If it involves money, "How can I afford this?" You don't have to come up with the answers to those questions initially, you just have to focus on the right questions, the right thoughts. Avoid thoughts that close your mind, "I can't afford that" or "I can't do that". Replace them with thoughts like, "How can I afford that?" and "How can I do that?"

When you tell yourself, "I can't . . .", believing that a thing is not possible for you, the natural result is that you close a door in your mind. On the other hand, when you ask yourself "How can I . . .", believing that there must be some way that you're simply not aware of, the natural result is that your subconscious mind will go to work on answering the question that puzzles you. The former approach ends speculation, while the latter approach stimulates creative thinking. Try it for yourself, and you soon may be turning sh!t into gold in your own life.

* Originally published Monday, Jul 18, 2016, last updated on Monday, Jul 18, 2016

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