Where do you find your opportunities? Some people see opportunity where others see closed doors. Some people search for and discover opportunity while others just wait for it to appear.
I have reflected on all the major turning points in my career. In each case, I saw and took an opportunity that others did not. In some cases, maybe several people saw the opportunity, but I was prepared to take action.
This of course wasn’t the case every single time. On many occasions, I completely failed to see the opportunity. Sometimes I walked past the door. Other times I saw the door, but another person got there first—-or I was afraid. And a few times I was the one who got the opportunity, but that is certainly rare.
It is interesting that we can often be surprised by the unexpected opportunities we discover. If you examine your life, I am sure you will agree that things don’t turn out as planned. There are twists and turns, there are failures and successes. We must adjust continuously as we go.
Being prepared for opportunities, and seeking opportunities are keys to building success over a lifetime. Here are some questions that can help us explore this idea:
1. Are you waiting for someone to bring you an opportunity? Stop waiting. If we stand around anticipating the perfect opportunity, we will be waiting for a long time. Most of our opportunities come in a different form than we expect. Sometimes we have to take an opportunity that is available, and then it may lead to a bigger and better opportunity. And sometimes we have to make things happen.
2. Are you actively seeking opportunity? If not, start looking. Opportunities appear every day. We may not see them if we don’t have open eyes. A year ago, I would never have predicted that I would be certified to provide temperament assessments, or that I would learn how to trade stock options. I saw opportunities, and I took them. Some of our opportunities will occur in areas in which we are not even aware.
3. How well do you know the opportunity you desire? Some opportunities appear as a next logical step. Some opportunities appear because you see the potential outcome. When you are aware of what you want to achieve, you will begin to see links between these opportunities. Some will reveal how, and some will reveal why.
4. Where do you go to seek for opportunity? My first thought was that you need to look where your interests lie, but the truth is you need to look everywhere. That means getting out of your house, your job, and your routines. You have to decide if events in your life are coincidences or if they are relevant. Some people would say everything is relevant. If we treat it as such, then we will see more opportunities.
If you want opportunity, you have to participate. There are a lot of opportunities that I did not act upon. More than I can recall. These missed opportunities did not shape my life. The opportunities that I took are what changed my life. Overcoming the fear of an opportunity may be the most difficult step.
In your life, the chance to move forward may be something small or something enormous. But I can promise you if you look back, the times you acted and were wrong are almost always more formative than the times you were afraid to act.
Take that risk. Step out of your comfort zone. Try something you haven’t tried. Sometimes you win, and sometimes, you learn.