Did you hear the opportunity knocking at the door?
Call me deaf or ignorant, but I always believed that I missed opportunities. That I never heard when they came knocking. That I could not recognize them in any form or shape. Or was it that they never knew my address?
In so many conversations with friends, I hear things like ‘Wish I got the opportunity’ or ‘I was so busy doing ABC that I never got the opportunity to do other stuff’.
I think the single biggest mistake that we commit in our lives is looking at opportunities as specific events that will announce their arrival in a way that we can take notice of them. It is not as much about opportunities as it is about our approach towards them. One, we keep waiting for the ‘bigger things’ or ‘bigger events’ in life to provide us with new avenues. Two, in the course of our busy lives, we seldom are able to identify opportunities even when they are lurking around us or staring us right in the face.
All of us know, waiting for grander things in life never works because life passes you by and before you even realize, you have missed out on the special stuff in the hope of the extraordinary. And this, when we don’t even know how we will identify the extraordinary and what we’ll do with it.
What I am stressing here is that opportunities are not one-time/single events. Instead, the life that we live and the time that we have on our hands manifests itself into an ‘Opportunity’Scape waiting to be molded the way we want to. You must make your own opportunities. Who is stopping you from making choices, taking decisions and starting a journey that will take you towards your dreams? If you ever fear the consequences, think about the regrets that you could have later on. That should keep you going. Do not settle for something that doesn’t give you happiness or fulfil you emotionally.
One doesn’t have to become a millionaire to feel that he got the right opportunities. To feel accomplished in life. To feel lucky. Everyone is born with the canvas of life as his/her opportunity. What you make of it is your personal choice. For somebody it maybe about becoming a millionaire, for the other it could be the mundane that excites. Life is a sum total of achievements that make you rich with happiness. Don’t settle until you find the right mix.
Although the above approach of creating one’s own opportunities applies to men and women alike, yet women may have to work harder to internalize it. One, we think a lot about a lot of things. Two, we worry more about what ‘others’ would think. Three, we often feel constrained ‘that are my choices really mine?’ Won’t my choices affect my family or my kids?
There is no denying that these are important concerns. No decision is independent of the elements that constitute our lives. However, in today’s day and age, men are affected and conscious of the elements in the same way. What differentiates them from women, is their way of thinking. They do not overthink like we do. They swiftly move into taking action hence being more agile and adaptable in making the most of the circumstance/opportunity life throws at them.
We have to stop mistaking only great achievements as our true accomplishments. On the contrary, as a working professional, flex-mom or a home-maker, what you made of your circumstances and the methods you adopted to chase happiness is your way of making the most of the circumstance/opportunity. That is your accomplishment.
Don’t fear what ‘others’ have to say – remember, by definition, ‘opportunity’ is a ‘set of circumstances that make it possible to do something’. And circumstances are unique to one’s life. Your circumstances are different from mine. Mine are different from yours. Hence your possibilities are also infinitely different from mine. Once we realize that, it is easier to not only be content with our lives but be as excited about life at every stage. Because times will change, seasons will change and so will circumstances. There will be a new set of ‘opportunities’ on the continuum of life to keep you hooked and going.
As long as the magic of life unfolds for us, we don’t have to wait for opportunities to knock our doors. Being alive is our single biggest opportunity. Go seize it!