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“Opportunity favors the prepared.” – Madeline Levine in The New York Times
Life has a keen sense of humor, and it is all the more enjoyable when we are laughing with it. What I mean to say is that we have a choice every single day regarding how we will approach the 24 hours we are given. We can either choose to trek through life as though it is a burden full of drudgery and monotony or we can realize that life is as grand as we believe it to be.
We are the makers of the destiny we seek. As a young adult it is easier to be full of hope and ambition as the world seems full of possibilities, but as we get older, some may have us believe that we need to settle and resign ourselves to the reality that life is what the world tells us it “should” be.
Perhaps they mention one is too old . . . simply look to Betty White as proof they have no clue what one is capable of in their golden years. Or perhaps they say one’s schooling is lacking . . . simply look to Mark Twain who had no more than a 5th grade education to disprove this washed up theory. If whatever they are saying doesn’t ring true for you, then stop listening and follow your internal direction. Such cynicism has never accomplished anything, so dismiss the Scrooges of the world and continue to look for the many opportunities that are wishing and waiting to be discovered. Because trust me, they are out there, no matter what your age.
Today’s quote is simple, but painstakingly true. Opportunities do not just plop out of thin air when we aren’t looking. The good news for those of us who are willing to work hard and consistently is that we must be prepared for the opportunity when we see it so that we can pounce.
While the opportunities we continue to gather up may seem small, it is often these small opportunities capitalized upon again and again that lead to the grand break we are looking for. Very rarely does a record breaking diamond become unearthed on the first try, but rather after many other small treasures have been discovered along the way.
Here are a few things that you can do right now and continue to do each day to aid in your preparation to be able to seize on the opportunities you wish to find.
1. Mind your money manners, but know when to take risks. When you have control of your finances, you can take risks knowing that you have the savings or income to weather the storm should your risk fail.
2. For your health’s sake, eat well. An added benefit is that you’ll look great too. Who knows when the opportunities will be ready for you to find them. It could be when you’re twenty or it could be when you’re nearing middle age and beyond. Remain healthy so that no matter when it arrives, you can enjoy it to the fullest.
3. Make the right type of mistakes – made while being courageous and ambitious, rather than defensive, lazy or ignorant. Mistakes will happen to us all, but make them while striving forward toward something new or challenging, rather than sitting around doing nothing afraid of everything.
4. Look for opportunities, seek them out. Open your eyes. Say yes. Do something new. Ask why. Never stop learning.
5. Be kind and helpful. Helping others out when you can simply because you can and not to gain anything in return creates an environment of support and positive rapport. By creating an environment that is welcoming and uplifting, more of that energy is created. Pay forward what you wish to see more of, even if you don’t see a lot of it at the present moment.
6. Strengthen your self-discipline muscle. Stop spending frivolously. Put down that second helping. Stop engaging with people who are not good for you or your self-esteem.
7. Pay yourself first. Start saving for retirement and a rainy day today. Create a monthly EFT and forget about it.
8. Wake up early. Don’t waste a minute. The early bird really does get the worm.
9. Continually strive for excellence, not perfection. Never stop learning about the world you live in. Continually try to better understand yourself, your emotions, your job, your passions, your strengths, etc. The answers will come if you keep searching.
10. Simplify and focus. You can’t do everything, but you what you choose to focus on can be done well if you let go of those things that aren’t at the top of your priority list.
11. Keep a clean home. Limit your stress, free your mind, create room for opportunities to be found.
12. Master your mind. Freedom lies in choosing your thoughts and not being a slave to anything that crosses your mind’s path.
13. Meditate. A simple practice that builds mind control, lowers stress and builds appreciation.
14. Create specific goals. If you don’t know where you’re going or what you want, your life will never change and you’ll never know what to look for regarding opportunities.
15. Be authentic. Do not apologize for being yourself. Ignore the laughter, walk away and walk toward those and a world that is appreciative of the gifts you have to offer.
16. Be productive, create something of value. No matter what you choose to do with your day, so long as it is in alignment with your goals, being productive will inch you one step closer to the opportunities you seek.
17. Stop blaming or complaining. Energy and time and most importantly the ability to see the opportunity is tossed aside immediately when we blame others or complain about something we don’t like or understand.
18. Stop being a follower. There’s already enough sheep in this world. Become conscious of which direction you are going and why. What type of life are you trying to lead? Are your actions and decisions today in line with the life you just described?
19. Choose to initiate rather than react. By choosing to initiate, you are taking the reins and directing life. You may not know how today’s particular scene will play out, but at least you are choosing to lead rather than to follow or be a spectator.
20. Make your own rules. If the rules aren’t working for you and the opportunities are not revealing themselves, do something different. And keep your eyes open.
“Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.” –Hugh Allen
Today, make the decision to look at the world as a ginormous present just waiting to be opened, realized and capitalized upon. Such an attitude will take conscious effort and the mastering of your mind, but the experiences and memories that will follow will be more than worth the energy you will have expended. Have a wonderful Monday everyone.
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