Opportunity

by Bryan Golden

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- Thomas A. Edison

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.
Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”
- Orison Swett Marden

Opportunity is sought by virtually everyone. People flock to the US from all over the world in search of abundant opportunity. In our great country, there is more opportunity than anywhere else. Yet many of those who are born here don’t fully appreciate all of the opportunities that surround them each and every day.

There are a couple of misconceptions about opportunity that are unfortunately embraced by too many. One fallacy is “opportunity only knocks once.” Another is that you have to wait for your ship to come in.

The reality is, opportunity exists everywhere. There are new opportunities daily. Waiting for your ship to come in is comparable to playing the lottery; a miniscule percentage of people have a ship that comes in, whereas the vast majority sits at an empty port.

The key to finding opportunity is swimming out and locating your ship. The two essential elements are searching while being proactive. You will never find opportunity if you don’t look for it. You will never benefit from opportunity unless you work at it.

The essence of opportunity exists within you. It begins with the control you have over your destiny. You decide what you think about. Your thoughts shape your reality. What you believe to be possible is doable. Whatever you think is impossible will never happen.

After your thoughts, what happens to you is influenced by your behavior. You can have the greatest mindset, but without appropriate action, nothing will materialize. Thoughts without action are fruitless.

Since you have the opportunity to control your thoughts and action, you have the opportunity to make changes to your life. At any time, you can decide to make a change, and then take the necessary steps to do so.

You have the opportunity to make decisions. You can say yes or no. If you make a bad decision, you have the opportunity to make another one. You always have the opportunity to improve your circumstances.

You have the opportunity to control your emotions. You don’t have to give others the power to push your buttons. It’s not necessary to get upset or angry. You are not obligated to fight or argue. You control how you react to your environment.

You have the opportunity to select the occupation that best suits you. If you don’t like a particular job, you can get another. If you need more money, you can secure a better paying job. If you don’t like being an employee, you can start your own business.

You have the opportunity to get an education. At any age, at any time, you can acquire whatever information you desire. From learning a new skill, to earning a degree, you just have to make the effort, and the knowledge is yours.

You have unlimited opportunity. You can accomplish anything you want to. Realizing opportunity takes effort. If you chose the path of least resistance, which is often the path of least work, opportunity will constantly elude you.

Don’t wait for opportunity. Time goes by all too rapidly. Search for, find, and seize opportunity. Do what it takes to turn opportunity into reality. You have the opportunity to fail and the opportunity to succeed. The choice is yours.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden