26 Letters

Order matters. Several years ago I was attending a professional conference. All day long they hyped up the raffle for the big prize at the end of the day. The keynote speaker closed out the conference and then they had the drawing we were all waiting for: a trip to Disney World for your entire family! They pulled the name out of the raffle and right before announcing the winner, the keynote speaker interrupts and says he’d like to give away a copy of his book. So the person announcing the winner decides the first name drawn will receive the book… and that’s when it hits me: my name is on that ticket. Sure enough he announces my name and there’s a collective groan in the audience as everyone comes to the realization, that just seconds earlier, I was the winner of the Disney trip but now was the proud owner of some keynote speaker’s book. There are 26 letters in the alphabet. Books are just large collections of small groups containing several of the 26 letters (words). However, just because everyone has access to the same 26 letters doesn’t mean everyone is going to produce the same quality of work. That’s because order matters. It matters what order you put the letters, the words, the sentences. Merely being in the raffle drawing, or any profession for that matter, doesn’t mean squat. It’s being able to put all the pieces in a specific order that brings value to others or it’s just being flat out lucky – because sometimes the person who gets picked second is the real winner.

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