Millions of people are missing golden opportunities every day.
They’re so focused on the current circumstances of their life or thinking about the opportunities that others have that they miss what’s right in front of them.
I find it rather sad that many of us spend time thinking that others enjoy ‘greener pastures’ instead of properly appraising and mining our own.
Looking back in my own life, I clearly remember climbing the fence out my pasture because the other person’s opportunity was so enticing.
By the time I climbed back in, my little excursion had cost me quite a few thousand dollars and a badly bruised ego.
So, I would suggest that rather than looking elsewhere for opportunity, you look where you are today.
You’re guaranteed to win from this…
One of the best ways to start is to offer to help others.
I know this might not seem like it’s an opportunity for you. However, I guarantee it will pay off for you.
I heard a story recently that illustrates this point beautifully.
One fall, many years ago, a college student named Rushion McDonald started working with IBM.
Rushion’s supervisor informed him that the company never kept students longer than one semester, no matter how good they are.
“You’ll be out of here come December,” he told Rushion.
Well, Rushion had other ideas.
As soon as he came on board, Rushion started creating relationships with many of the employees. Then, he would ask each person, “What’s one thing you don’t like doing at your job each day?”
About twenty employees shared what their ‘thing’ was, and Rushion started doing it for them every day.
Then, in November, Rushion started saying things like, “You know, I won’t be able to keep this up much longer,” to each of the twenty employees.
“Why not?” they asked.
“Because IBM has this rule that college students can only stay here for a semester.”
Well, Rushion ended up working for IBM for about 2 ½ years when he left on his terms, not IBM’s.
Taking on tasks that other people disliked was a brilliant move on Rushion’s part. Successful people always look for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are often reluctant to do something extra unless they get paid for it.
Appraise your pasture
Finding and taking advantage of opportunities that are around you requires you to look at your pasture differently.
Look at it this way…
Think back to the times when you have been sitting on a couch watching television.
How many opportunities came your way?
Watching TV offers few opportunities for change or growth.
Instead of watching TV, take a closer look at your surroundings and your life experiences, read a book and let your imagination flow about things you could do to improve your life. They don’t have to be big things. Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
I’m not suggesting that you should never jump into another pasture. Often, a complete change can be healthy and very satisfying.
But, before you do, you should take a long and careful look at your own.
Of course, if somebody gives you an opportunity to do something you love, you should jump at the chance. Even if it comes at an inopportune time.
Remember Rushion, the IBM guy?
Well, it turns out that after working his way up the corporate ladder, Rushion decided to give up his steady paycheck to follow his dream of being a standup comedian.
As he was hustling to make it in his new field, his right lung collapsed. He had a life-saving surgery that left him with a 36-inch scar on his right side. Barely able to move or talk, Rushion stayed in the hospital for about 30 days to recover.
Rushion received a phone call one day while he was still in the hospital. A man introduced himself and told Rushion about an upcoming comedy competition and invited Rushion to compete. Each competitor would be required to do an 8-minute routine.
Although it was still difficult for him to speak, there was no way Rushion was going to pass on this opportunity.
He managed to whisper, “Yes, I’ll be there.”
Rushion participated in the competition, but the only way he could talk for eight consecutive minutes was to use his left arm to hold the stitches on his right side together. It was very hard to do, but he won the competition. And that put him on the road to stardom.
It’s your life
You can search your current environment and use the experience you already have to build a stairway to just about anything you want.
Just make sure that you pursue only opportunities that feel right to you, not ones that are based on conventional standards or opinions from people who are not living your life.
Oprah Winfrey, who without a doubt has both created opportunities for herself and taken the ones that came her way, once said, “I believe that every single event in life is an opportunity to choose love over fear.”
She is right, and I encourage you to keep these wise words in mind every day of your life.
What’s your dream?
Imagine yourself where you want to be, doing what you want to do and having what you want to have. It will change the way you look at things.
To fuel the fire, drive around in better neighborhoods. Watch inspiring movies. Fantasize.
Once you decide what you want, set goals to achieve it. That creates expectations, which can be reached by proper thinking, planning and action. If you do those things, you will win.
You’ll have setbacks along the way. However, if you keep acting on your plan, you will see more opportunities.
Go for the low-hanging fruit
If you feel opportunity seldom knocks at your door, look at your life through a different lens.
Take a long and careful look at what you are presently doing. Napoleon Hill said that we should not go searching for opportunity but reach out and embrace it right where we are.
Never forget that you are, at this moment, standing right in the middle of your own “acres of diamonds.”
I promise that if you change your attitude, you will not only see life differently, but life itself will become different.
To your success,
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