I was heading out of the snack room at the college down the road, when I bumped into a former colleague. We had canceled a lunch date a week or two before, so it was great to see each other. In the course of our conversation she told me about a magazine writing class she was currently enrolled in. She was doing well (not surprisingl) but ruing the fact that she didn't have access to a small recorder, since most of her articles involved interviewing students. It would be so much easier to capture the quotes if she didn't have to do them longhand!
I started fumbling through my purse. On last year's birthday my youngest daughter gave me a small Sony recorder. For the past few months it had been underused, although, like other gifts I have been given from family members, I have no doubt it will be just what I need at some point in the future. (This is a lesson I learned when my husband gave me a microwave one Christmas, followed the next year by a cordless phone. Neither piece of technology was on my radar, but I am positive I couldn't imagine life without them now.)
The recorder was finally brought to light, and I handed it over to my friend, startling her in midsentence. She started to crack up. "I can't believe you had this in your purse!" she exclaimed. "Will you really let me borrow it? Now I have no excuse not to do well."
Strategy Five: Take the opportunity to be the cause of someone's good fortune. And share the laughter that results.