In America, gold rolls in the streets, or at least that’s the way the slogan went. Everywhere you turn there’s a new opportunity to do something great or create something out of nothing. It’s the land of the free after all, and we’re free to do whatever we want!
That’s all nice and peachy…
But alas, even in the land of the free, even after reading many posts about seizing the day, we still wake up in the morning to an unchanging routine.
Sure, the opportunities are abundant and fresh, but are we?
The reality is that most of us come with baggage. We tried things in the past, and most of us may have experienced little to moderate success. This may have taught us to be cynical, to look at everything that is not stable or safe with a critical eye. In our day to day activities, we tend to stay in the comfort zone; in our imagination and dreams, we yearn for change and opportunities.
Furthermore, opportunities won’t knock on our door, they won’t present themselves to us fully realized and they’re sure as heck not going to happen if we simply sit and wait.
When we look up to successful people, it seems almost magical. We associate success with bold adjectives like luck, guts, and genius. It seems far fetched to us.
But, keep in mind they were not always successful… But they had something about them that made them special; a sort of an aptitude towards catching the right opportunities at the right moment and importantly, following through with them.
That sort of aptitude takes time to develop; and only the persistent will succeed.
Listed below are 5 well known people who rose to dominance. Each, in his own way, learned certain behaviors and held certain beliefs that allowed them to take the opportunity-bull by its horns!
1# John F. Kennedy – Perspective, See the Big Picture
The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger- but recognize the opportunity.”
Taking opportunities requires walking on a ground that is neither stable nor safe. If you give up on an opportunity simply because it’s not safe, you’ll be sure to regret it.
Always be cautious, but be sure to see the opportunity as well as the danger so you can make the right decision!
2# Winston Churchill – Optimism and Expediting Luck
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
The greatest human-made endeavors on our planet always started as a thought and were gradually realized until becoming reality. The benefits of optimism are real and can make a world of difference when you’re working on something. In every successful endeavor, there’s always an optimist leading the battle-cry.
3# Theodore Roosevelt – Preparation, Never Miss an Opportunity By Getting into Opportunity Shape
“It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”
A fisherman with a submerged hook is more likely to catch a fish then someone in a book store day-dreaming about landing a blue tuna. Plan and invest in yourself, so when the opportunity comes knocking, you’ll be ready to jump on it.
4# Archimedes – Believe, even when others don’t
“Give me but a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.”
Catching opportunities is one thing, staying on-board while the ship is rocking is another. A lot of missed opportunities don’t reach the fruition stage because people jump ship at first sign of trouble and doubt. It’s a safe bet that every opportunity is bound to guarantee bumps in the road, so hang on, otherwise someone else will.
5# Gene Simmons – Always be whoever you want to be because it’s never too late to work nine-to-five
“Before I ever knew what the word Entrepreneur was, I realized in America and in the Western part of the world in general, you are given the opportunity to be whatever you want to be. And that is all anyone should ever expect from the Capitalist system. The rest is up to you.”
We have opportunities because we’re not living in a limited environment; we’re free to do what we want whenever we want. Our limitations are self-imposed and once lifted, allow us to act on opportunities.
I’ll leave it to Gene to conclude this post.
Worst case scenario, you can forget this post, and can go back working nine-to-five…
Never miss an opportunity again, until next time.