Sometimes we are born into a great opportunity and other times we must work our way towards opportunity. Either way, we all have equal chances towards any given opportunity that comes our way. It is up to us to accept an opportunity or reject it.
After reading a great book, “Think and Grow Rich”, there was a story illustrated about a worker, Edwin Barnes, who had a dream to work with Thomas Edison. Barnes did not know how he would work with Edison, he was not within the same social group as him and did not know him personally. Nonetheless, Barnes was relentless in chasing his dream, passion, and purpose. For the sake of time, in summary, after much work and dedication in pursuit of his dream, Barnes was given the opportunity to become business partners with Edison. His very dream was coming true because he took the chance and grasped an opportunity. The opportunity he took was actually disguised in rejection. The invention that Edison wanted to sell all his other business partners rejected, but because Barnes was so adamant and did not see it as a rejection but opportunity, he is now known as one of Edison’s greatest business partners.
Opportunities may not always be wrapped up pretty with a bow. Most times they are born in adversity, they are taken by those who dare to dream bigger than their situation, such as Edwin Barnes who wanted to be business partners with Edison. To make this personal, I think of this for my own life and how opportunities can spread. I am a first born Jamaican American because one aunt thought to come over to the United States from the island. She worked diligently to make that opportunity a reality for herself. Then she afforded that opportunity to my father who helped my mother who in return helped a multitude of us gain an opportunity we may have never had before. It all started with one person, one thought, one courageous dream, and one leap toward an opportunity. I’m sure my aunt had no clue how it would all work out. I’m sure she was fearful of failure, but it never stopped her. For that I am grateful for her one choice.
There are a variety of ways opportunities can present themselves to us. Not all of us must be born into great opportunities handed to us, but that is no excuse to not go out and make opportunities happen. Opportunities can be any of the following:
- Taken by chance. To take the chance to move from the only home you may ever know to have something you have always dreamed of is a major chance. If that dream is big enough and your excuses are nonexistent, then weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Opportunities are usually once in a lifetime, so take chances while you can.
- Some opportunities are born through adversity and rejection. If you are always looking for something good as an open door for opportunity, then you may be missing some big chances to take in life. The opportunity of a lifetime may be presented in disappointment. However, you must always keep your eyes on your prize and remain encouraged in order to see past the rejection to get to the opportunity.
- Then there are some opportunities that are standing at your doorstep. Do not always look so hard for things to be broken to miss the clear and easy opportunity in your face. Seize the moment confidently when it presents itself.
- Opportunities should never compromise your core values. Never. If it does, then carefully evaluate what your dream is and consider that there will be more chances to achieve the success you desire.
- Lastly, and possibly most important, opportunity is usually on the other side of fear. You usually have to step out of your comfort zone in some way in order to pursue the opportunity. Your dreams depend on opportunities, so how well can you overcome your fears? Your opportunity you take today may not only change your future, but the future of those around you. That small decision may ripple into something large and lasting worth a legacy.
Opportunities are great chances that are waiting only if we accept them. You can always take an opportunity, but once it is missed they do not come back. Be wise with the opportunity you may let slip you by. Had Barnes let go of his thought and dreams to work with Edison, he would not have known what would come about that rare chance. Had my aunt missed the chance to come over to the US, perhaps it wouldn’t come up again and that would in return affect each of us who are now here as a result of her thought, dream and opportunity.
Do not miss out on your opportunity and do not shrink back your dream. Go out today and confidently make the most of each day and opportunity!