There is always a golden opportunity coming your way.
Whether you recognize it or want to admit it, there can always be a better
situation resulting from your actions. The flip side of course is disaster
lurks behind every decision, ready to strike like a Viper.
Recognizing the opportunities in front of you is not always
easy. Roadblocks like stress, pride, fear, despondency, fatigue, or arrogance
get in the way. Truth is, most people probably miss golden opportunities
because they feel overwhelmed by the change they would bring. Familiarity with
your current situation is comforting. As the cliche says "the devil you
know is better than the one you don't", but it is that very complacency that
gets in the way of improvement and success.
I felt stuck in a rut for a long time. I wanted to grow,
take on a new career challenge, improve, but for years, (I'm sad to admit), I
avoided it. Oh sure, I'd complain, but not really take action to force a
change. One day I hit a tipping point and decided I must do something different
or that creative, motivating drive inside of me would die. So I got a new job.
Granted, starting a new job is scary. It's also disruptive
and uncomfortable. I noticed simple things like my gym and lunch routine were
vastly different, but you know what? I needed that.
I have watched people I know including myself, squander
opportunities, repeatedly. It's frustrating because you know if they just seize
that opportunity a lot of good things will come their way. And yet they
flounder. Remember those roadblocks I mentioned? I think fear is the strongest
one. Fear of failure, the unknown, making a mistake, and even fear of success
all crowd out the basic truth that without a new course of action the same
results or worse will occur.
Thanks Einstein. Don't let fear control you. "Fear is the mind killer". Don't be a slave to it. Use your fear as a catalyst, not
an anchor. Let that fear drive you towards success, not cower under the covers.
Your adventure and success in life come from slaying the monster that lurks
under your bed. That's the story people want to hear and what you need to live.
Get to being the hero of your life book. End the chapter of fear and start writing
the Chapter of Success.
Yes it can be done. Just seize that golden opportunity!
No legacy is so rich as honesty. (All’s Well that Ends Well -- Act iii,
Sc. 5) William Shakespeare
Have you ever thought about life after your own? I’m not talking about
anything supernatural, heaven, or the afterlife. I’m talking about the
impression you leave behind after you are gone. It’s an unavoidable truth that
one day each of us will draw our last breath and part from this world. In a way
it makes all that we do and all that we say that much more poignant and
precious, because we only get one chance. Think for a moment of what life would
be like without you. All of society will roll on just as it has before you,
only now, if you’ve done it right, you’ll have left a mark that is immutable and
distinctly you. I think leaving a legacy of good behind is vital.
For argument’s sake let’s say we all have 100 years of earthly life
given to us. What will you do with that time? Each life is different and unique
and the choices we make mold and shape that life and us into the individuals we
all are. Some of those choices are good, some bad. What we do with those lives
is entirely up to us. There are those who are self-centered and egotistical,
searching only for things that make themselves happy. There are those who
strive for altruism and look out for others, doing whatever they can to better
the lives of those around them. Many of us fall somewhere in between, which is
to say we try to live good lives and occasionally put ourselves first in the
pecking order of life. Now that’s not a bad thing because if you can’t take
care of yourself you can’t take care of anyone else; it’s the balance between
selfishness and givingness that’s the key. We can’t all get everything we’ve
ever wanted, that’s just unrealistic and if you devote your life to acquisition,
whether it be for fame, fortune or power, you may very well achieve those
goals, but when it’s all over, what do you leave behind?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say what you leave behind should
be a positive thing. Although, it might be hard to say exactly what counts as
valuable in a subjective sense; one person might say a fortune left to heirs is
positive, another might say the example of a good life is better. Even others
might say the propagation of their religion or ideology is paramount. So what
is positive, and what counts as a lasting legacy of good?
My belief is that if you continue to learn and improve on the person
you were yesterday, avoid making the same mistakes, keep an open mind, learn
from other people the best you can, and never give up to apathy and despair,
your life will continue to improve. Striving to an ideal is great so long as
you only compare yourself to what you have achieved, not what you think you
should be. We all know no one is perfect, but continual self-improvement is an
example everyone that knows you can take with them and emulate, as well as pass
on to others.
Over the course of a lifetime, you can make a difference. If you
continually fail, try another approach, seek advice, model yourself after those
who have succeeded and keep going. If you only have 100 years to make a life
worth knowing about, each moment is precious, but they are also opportunities
to reassert yourself and move forward. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth
it. Think of it this way, if your life was a book, would anyone want to read
about it? I for one want to leave behind a best seller. What about you?
Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are welcome.
How often do you create opportunities for success in your life? You
might have heard the old saying “Opportunity only knocks once,” or “When
opportunity knocks, answer it”. They’re cute little sayings aren’t they? But do
you notice something about the way they are structured? I’ll give you a minute
to reread them….
Did you see it? Well, if you saw what I saw you’ll recognize that both
of those sayings are rather passive in regards to you and what you should do.
Think about it. Opportunity knocks, meaning it will come to you. Really? I’ve
always had this sort of ridiculous notion that opportunity was like a cloud of
positive energy that would one day float by my apartment door and lightly rap
upon my door knocker. All I had to do was wait. Now I realize that’s an
incredible waste of time.
If we think about what Francis Bacon says about opportunity, we should
all be out hunting that misty cloud of energy trying to wring out all the opportunity
we can get. And that’s exactly what you should be doing. Getting out there and
making things happen is what life should be about. There’s a reason why couch
potatoes aren’t wildly successful, except knowing what’s on TV; they aren’t
doing anything. You can’t seize the day if you’ve already seized the couch.
Just a few days ago, I once again submitted some of my writings to a
publisher. In fact, I submitted another short story and several poems. No one
is going to come knocking on my door begging me to submit my stories to their
magazine. So I’ve got to make those publishing opportunities happen myself. And
I’m going to have to continue to foster those opportunities if I want to be
successful. You might not be an aspiring author, but I’m sure there’s something
positive you’d love to be doing right now; some dream you always wanted to come
The question is, what are you doing to make that dream come true?
Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are welcome.
How much have you accomplished in your life? Is it a lot or
just a little? Are you satisfied with the things you have done or do you feel
the need to excel, to strive, and continue onward? For me, life is an ever
expanding opportunity to experience more and attempt new things. I'm still working on finishing my novel. I've got one chapter to go for a completed draft and I can tell you I'm a much better writer for the attempt. For the most
part, I don’t need others’ approval or blessing when attempting something new; I’m not overly concerned with
their praise or validation either. However, I would admit that a bit of
recognition once in a while is really important, dare I say needed. Now I’m not
waiting around for people to stop me on the street and point their finger at me
and scream like I’m some kind of rock star, or have to paparazzi chase me down
for a quick snap shot. It is nice though, to be appreciated and know your efforts
are at least worth someone taking note.
But how much do you need to be lauded, praised and
applauded? Do you need it at all? With so many people in the world, it’s almost
impossible to not get lost in the crowd. The law of averages almost assures
that most of us will be the anonymous majority, but that doesn’t mean you have to
be average, or mediocre. You can always strive to be your best and make a
lasting impact, even if it’s only toward the ones you love. But mediocrity, don’t
let it overshadow who you are. It reminds me of the last scene from the movie
Amadeus. Salieri laments that he is nothing compared to Mozart and that fact
drove him mad.
Salieri’s obsession with things he had no control over
became too much. His fatal flaw lay in the fact that he constantly compared himself
to Mozart, instead of measuring is own abilities and talents against himself. There’s
a danger in wanting recognition, and that danger is the fact that comparisons
will always be drawn to competitors, peers, contemporaries, etc. In my view,
that’s a trap. So don’t get caught in it. Only compare yourself with yourself
and always try to improve on the previous version. You might just keep your
sanity. At the very least you’ll know where you’ve been and how much you have
Can you think of a specific time you got lost in competition
with others? Was it worth it?
Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are welcome.
Disappointment can be a hard thing to deal with, especially if you’ve
worked really hard at something. Putting
forth real effort to reach your goal, to drive toward your mission is always a
great achievement, but there’s something so deflating when you don’t reach your
goal due to no fault of your own.
Sometimes, things or people get in your way and you fail, not because
you didn’t try, but because your efforts were thwarted by circumstances, or by
other people. Unfortunately, you may
encounter people in your life who actually try to sabotage your endeavors. Sometimes they do this because they are
ignorant of your aims and inadvertently get in the way. Sometimes, they are deliberately vindictive
or jealous, and actively attempt to ruin your work. Yes, there is that type of ugliness in the
world and I’m sure you have experienced it.
I myself have been the target of nefarious individuals at one time or
another in my life. And let me tell you
it is not pleasant.
It would be one thing to fail because you gave up, or because you
simply weren’t good enough, but when another individual deliberately stands in
your way and tries to make you fail, it’s a despicable thing. So how do you handle that? What do you do? It would be a cope out to say ‘just live with
it’ and it would also be dismissive to say ‘just think positively.’ Those cliché type pieces of advice don’t
really help at all. If you really do
have someone that is deliberately trying to sabotage your goals, the best thing
to do is eliminate them from your life.
Cut them out completely and do not let them back in. I knew someone that took every opportunity to
try and degrade me, insult me, slander my name and deliberately lie about me to
try and influence people to dislike me.
I know the quality of my character and anyone worth knowing would take
the time to get to know me as a person, not just the lies of a malcontent
trying to break someone down instead of building themselves up. As soon as I cut off all contact with that
person and redirected my life on a new course, guess what! My life became so much more enjoyable,
meaningful, and most of all, positive.
You DO NOT have to allow negative, self-interested and destructive
people into your life. If you have found
someone like that has crept in, evict them.
You are the one that has to live your life and the world will make it
difficult just by its nature. Don’t
assist the forces of despair and negativity.
Situate yourself so positive, uplifting people can assist you in your
goals, and help drive you toward your mission.
That way, when disappointment does strike, it will have much less power
than it would otherwise. Positivity is
great, but structuring your life to accentuate the positiveness of the people
around you is even better. Go ahead, set
yourself up for success!