How To Create Opportunities
Monday March 21, 2011

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“When you dream, do you dream about playing great against an average team? . . . No!  When you dream, you dream about playing your best against the best. . . And now, this is your opportunity to make that dream a reality . . . pulling together, seeing it in your own mind before it ever happens. And do you know how it ends in your dream? You’re jumping for joy, you are happy and you’re having more fun than you’ve ever had before. But I’m telling you, the dream will not even compare to [the reality].”

-Jim Larranaga

Someone recently made the comment to me that while opportunities are great, the requirement that they present themselves is necessary in order to be successful. I had to chuckle a bit because what I observed instantly in that statement was the inability to take responsibility for making opportunities occur.

I truly believe that luck is when opportunity and preparation meet, but I think what is left out of this statement is that we have to go grab the opportunities.  We have to make them a reality.  We have to show ourselves worthy of said opportunities.  We can’t sit idly by and hope that they will land in our lap, because more times than not, this doesn’t happen.

When I came upon the quote above over the weekend, I felt it encapsulated perfectly what those extra necessary ingredients are in order to achieve our dreams.

First, you have to believe that it’s possible. For example, I can look at all of my colleagues where I work and see how their attitudes become a prophecy for what will occur for the students in their classroom.  Those teachers who believe that they will have successful students, who are willing to put forth the time on creating new curriculum or updating their old curriculum, who are strong enough to hold students accountable to achieving high standards and who truly believe that things can change for the better, are also the members of our staff who have great success rates (maybe not every time, but more times than not).  And consequently, the opposite is true as well for those who have lost confidence in having hope and can’t believe they can create something better.

I can’t reiterate enough how the attitude, the vision, you bring with you to the table of making your dreams happen dictates your success. Charles R. Swindoll’s dictum holds so much truth:

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” 

Second, setting a goal is about challenging yourself, not making it easy for yourself.  Now in setting the bar quite high, might force you to take a few steps back (in the form of lessons from stumbling) in order to soar successfully over the hurdle that is in front of you, but with passion for what you are doing and a determined spirit, the ability to reach your dream is possible.

Third, having a clear vision of what the dream is is paramount in achieving it successfully.  As I spoke a few weeks ago about focus, this disciplined concentration is what will keep you on track so that you aren’t distracted by other demands on your time that present themselves to take you off your path.

And lastly, by chasing your dreams, by not letting them out of your sight and by being willing to take the risks and chances that may cause you to land flat on your face (hopefully so, because that means you are falling forward), you create opportunities.You create what so many others believe in, accurately so, will simply occur.

Opportunities occur when we refuse to be denied.  Opportunities occur when we aren’t deterred by a slip. Opportunities occur when we are open to many different avenues for making the impossible possible.

By keeping these things in mind – a positive attitude, setting the bar high and having a clear vision – upon reaching your dream, it will be greater than you had ever imagined – partly because you are experiencing it with all of your senses, but more so because you can appreciate all that went into making it a reality, thus not taking it for granted.

Have a beautiful start to this first week of spring and may you step forward today with the belief in yourself that you will be successful with the discipline to remain focused.

9 thoughts on “How To Create Opportunities

  1. Hi Shannon,

    I apsolutely adore your new blog design!
    Thank you for this post, really inspiring & motivating, its the only blog I read every single morning. 🙂

    La Kat

  2. Agree with Pearl…this was a great way to start my Monday. Are you a teacher as well? It’s nice to meet teacher bloggers…I feel a lot of educators have time balancing their careers with something that is just theirs, like blogging. Props to you!

  3. Great post Shannon! What I would add is once you set your goal, steer clear of naysayers; they will suddenly all crawl out of the woodwork, and it can really throw you off track if you are not clear about what you want.

  4. A wonderful post, Shannon. Inspiring and awakening. I also agree with what Vanessa said, above … beware of naysayers. There really are people out there that don’t want you to succeed. Detour right around them on your way to success.

  5. I needed this today, so badly!Sometimes it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (I feel like graduation is years away when really it is only 1 year away!) Thank you for reminding me that with hard work comes great rewards!


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