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Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business by Lane Becker, Thor Muller

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Chapter 5

Skill: Commitment

Burning the Ships

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few.

—Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

In 1971, Colombia was much like other South American countries: politically unstable, mosquito-infested, scarred by civil war, and overwhelmingly poor. Despite these challenges—or perhaps because of them—an exciting and intense intellectual movement had emerged to reform the country, with a generation of activists and thinkers willing to tackle the biggest issues facing the developing world.

One of these was Paolo Lugari, an obsessive visionary who noticed that the solutions to basic infrastructure—electricity, water, sanitation—coming out of Europe and the U.S. were not being widely adopted ...

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