How often have you heard an opportunity knock but you’ve failed to open the friggin’ door?
Have you noticed someone else achieving great success, financial wealth and a great lifestyle and called it luck?
And how often have you been presented with an opportunity to create something better for yourself but rejected it simply because it didn’t look like an opportunity?
Opportunities get handed to us more regularly than we would care to admit.
But it is up to us to make them a reality. They don’t simply happen by themselves.
More often than not, opportunities come disguised as problems. Our ability to recognise the opportunity within the problem will determine whether we capitalise on or let someone else take hold of it.
Opportunities almost always look insignificant, small and challenging. In many cases, they present themselves as a problem.
That is why the majority of people let the opportunity slip – because they just don’t see the potential within the problem.
What I have learnt is that there are at least six key signs that will reveal that what you have before you is an opportunity rather than a problem.
1. Look Beyond the Present
Only you can decide what is a problem and what is an opportunity.
How you respond to a current issue in your life will determine whether it will remain a problem or present an opportunity to grow.
You need to look past the current impact of that problem or situation and determine what potential there may be for you to advance if you can solve the problem.
Human nature tends to first react with intimidation rather than with adventure; intimidation’s primary role is to rob you of opportunity.
However, if you perceive any challenge as an adventurous process in which you can learn and grow and thrive, then you will be in an advantageous mindset to turn obstacles into opportunities.
2. Find the Win in Every Situation
The second key is to be able to find the win in any situation.
Let me illustrate with an example.
It is said that the famous American inventor, Thomas Edison, one day watched his entire laboratory, experiments and research burst into flames.
The next day, rather than feeling sorry for himself, Edison walked through the ashes of his life’s work and said with great excitement, “Thank God! Thank God! The world will never know all of my mistakes and failures; they are burnt and gone forever.”
Now that’s finding the win!
If you encounter a challenge on your way to fame, will you see the win in the cost? Or will you only see the loss?
Every day, opportunity cries out to us, but it is often disguised. It is up to you to recognise it as opportunity.
3. Be Prepared to Work Hard
Opportunities are not always easy to handle.
Too many people think opportunities will just drop in their lap. They are not prepared to work hard and put in the effort to create the opportunity.
A word of advice – you will never achieve your life goals if you aren’t prepared to work hard for them. There is no easy way.
American poet, Robert Frost, so aptly put it in his well-known poem The Road Not Taken:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by; And that has made all the difference.”
Don’t go down the same as everybody else. You’ll end up with the same results as them!
4. Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks
If opportunity were to knock on your door today, would you open the door? Or are you content with sitting on the couch watching “Game of Thrones”?
The greatest opportunity in your life may present itself today. Will you be prepared for it? Will you recognise it? What are you prepared to do for it?
My mentor once told me that “there is no shortage of opportunities in the world; only a shortage of opportunists”.
Be ready with both hands to grab the opportunity when it comes your way.
5. Every Circumstance Presents Opportunity
Helen Keller, who was once asked what could be worse than being blind, said, “Being able to see, but having no vision”.
She did not allow her circumstance to define her. She used her blindness as a gift and became an author, college graduate and advocate for disability rights in America.
Successful people just know how to shape and form opportunities into a gift. A gift that can benefit themselves and others.
That’s the beauty of opportunity. What appears to be hardship or pain could quite possibly be an opportunity if approached from the right angle.
6. Don’t Wait – Open the Friggin’ Door
Opportunities wait for no one. If opportunity knocks, get up off your arse and open the door. Grasp the opportunities that come your way! Make them your own.
Opportunity is everywhere, but it’s up to you to grab it.
Any circumstance can potentially be an opportunity rather than a problem. The key is your attitude and reaction to the circumstance.
Will you roll up your sleeves, get to work and find the win?
Or are you going to take the easy route and watch another opportunity pass you by? Watch other people get all the “luck”?
There are opportunities everywhere each and every day, but it is up to you to grab them!
If you procrastinate and wait for the right time and perfect setting, you’ll still be waiting this time next century.
Opportunity will pass you by. When it knocks, make sure you open the friggin’ door and grasp it with both hands – otherwise someone else will.