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Jeff D Jones, PhD

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Don't Let Opportunities Pass You By
By Jeff D Jones, PhD   
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Last edited: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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Everyday, we are presented with opportunities. Some are positive and some are negative. It's our responsibility to discern which are positive and react accordingly.

Everyday, we are presented with opportunities.  Some are positive and some are negative.  It's our responsibility to discern which are the positive ones and react accordingly by not letting them pass us by.

We each come in contact with many positive opportunities on a daily basis.  But we hardly ever react on them. Instead, we just ignore them, for whatever reason.  Failure to respond to these opportunities could be due to our internal makeup; that is our attitudes, beliefs, values, perceptions and behaviors. It could also be due to external circumstances beyond our control. For example, if a student wins a scholarship to study abroad but is unable to raise enough money for living expenses, he or she is unable to seize this opportunity.

However, most often, it is our mental make up that block and hinders an effective response to a positive opportunity. One way could be how we each perceive things. For example, if there was a sport or hobby that we have always wanted to do, but we do not think we are very good at it, should we take part in it anyway? Of course! This is a perfect opportunity to get better at something we think we might enjoy. And if it turns out that we don't have a knack for this particular sport or hobby, then at least we gave it a shot. We took the opportunity and we learned from it. If instead of taking part, we avoid doing it because we might be embarrassed by the thought of failure, then it is a wasted opportunity. The same thing is true of pursuing a promotion at work or starting that business opportunity you've always dreamed about. Don't think about failure. Just do it.

At other times, we miss opportunities because we are indifferent to the opportunities around us. We think we have no time to involve ourselves with anything or anyone else beyond our little circle of friends and interests. It could also be that we are unaware of the opportunities surrounding us. Oftentimes, we are so wrapped up in living our lives or pursuing our narrow interests that other things, or people, on the fringes of our lives do not interest us at all. I know many people like this. They walk around with blinders on all day. If an opportunity were to flash right in front of them, they wouldn't even see it. Here again are wasted opportunities. Missing out on what could potentially be a life changing event. People actually live richer lives because of their involvement in a variety of interests. I often say, “It's true , money does not bring us happiness. But it allows to pursue other things that do”. Things like spending more time with our families on vacations.

So many times we fail to recognize opportunities. We hesitate to try something we have not tried before. This could be an opportunity to grow in a new area. We are unwilling to take up the challenge. We are afraid to go beyond our comfort zone. W. L. Bateman said, "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got." Who knows what new opportunities a new friend or a new hobby or just a new book will bring us?

To make sure we grab every opportunity at improving ourselves and living richer lives, we should cultivate an attitude to always respond to positive opportunities that life presents to us daily. If someone invites us to lunch, say “yes”. You just might meet someone there that could change your life forever. We should always be awake, alert and willing to listen and respond to opportunities that come our way. If we respond to opportunities, our whole lives could be changed. New opportunities are challenges. And life without any challenges would be dull and very boring indeed. We should never be in a position that we look back and regret all the wasted opportunities in our lives.

Have you ever thought about starting your own business venture? I think everyone has. But most people are too afraid of failure to even try. But look at it this way, if you refuse to try something new, in my book, you've already failed!

Web Site: Jeff D. Jones

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Reviewed by Reginald Johnson 11/18/2010
Excellent article; filled with poignant words of wisdom.