In North America, a bluebird is found. A little thrush with blue upper parts, she signifies spring. She is often heard before she is seen. Her happy song lifts the spirits after long and harsh winters. She is so revered that some Native Americans believe that she is the harbinger of spring who will fight off the evil god of winter. According to folklore, many Native Americans hung dry gourds to entice bluebirds to nest near their settlements so they could enjoy their enchanting songs of happiness and hope.
Bluebirds are a sign that good luck is waiting. They have become a symbol of good fortune in all things such as love, money, healing, and happiness.
In the advertising or sales world, a bluebird has come to signify an unexpected and lucrative sale, for which the person or team did not put in much effort. It arrived. It landed in their laps.
In the mountains, a bluebird day is known as that perfect blue sky day after heavy snowfall – the perfect conditions for mountain sports.
In stark contrast to the symbolism of the bluebird, a black swan – a phrase commonly used in the world of money and popularised by the author Nassim Nicolas Taleb – is an unknowable and unpredictable event with exceptionally negative consequences. We could argue that the Covid-19 pandemic was a black swan event, or the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or the 2008 financial crisis. In hindsight, they often look predictable – there were signs pointing to the rising potential of these events, but many did not interpret them beforehand as warnings.
A lot of energy is spent trying to predict and prepare for the next black swan in the world of money. And yes, it is a good idea to put measures in place so that you won’t be wiped out by a black swan event.
However, in reality, bluebirds are far more common than black swans. Bluebirds appear after every winter. Not everyone will see them though. You may have to go into the woods for a chilly, spring walk. You may have to attract them to your home, like the Native Americans. You may just have to be present, in the moment, to hear her song above the noise in your head.
In business, you must still be prepared to implement the unexpected deal. With our money, we should have a plan for a windfall. In life, we should sometimes work hard to heal and open ourselves up to experience joy again.
After a particularly difficult few years, perhaps this year we should eagerly anticipate the return of good fortune. After all, she returns after every hard winter.
I hope that all of us will be ready, waiting for her arrival, and prepared to take advantage of the good fortune she brings.
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