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What do you think of when I mention the word “Opportunity”?  For some, it may mean chance. For others it may mean their big break. Regardless of what it may mean, it may never mean more to a person than when they miss it. Often times, one can know when that happens to a person after they say a couple of “should-a, could-a, would-a” statements. Phrases like, “I should have took the train to go see her when I had the chance. Now someone else is loving the love of my life,” or “I could have been a chef but I  listened to someone who didn’t think I’d be good at it,” or “I would have flown overseas to visit the Vatican City but I didn’t think I’d get a chance to see the Pope” are often times said after the time to do it has passed and their desires are questioned.

Opportunities are life-changers! They truly are ways that bring about change to our lives, whether for worse or for the better, that lead us in a different direction than where we originally aimed to go. Even for someone who has given up having goals and aspirations, any opportunities given can turn their life around by offering them a new purpose in life. Unfortunately, we can miss these same opportunities because of fear and possibly other life situations.

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This statement is so true in many ways! As often as we have excuses is just as often as someone is standing there, excuse-less, ready to take what has been offered to us.  Sadly, it is the one who lost the opportunity and is unable to find a new opportunity that wonders why is everything wonderful happening to others while they are still stuck in life. It’s easy to get in that place and not get out of it. Therefore, here are three ways to begin to create new opportunities in life.

  1. Expand your horizons. Are you just what your title says you are or is there more to you? Look into those areas for an opportunity.  Are you just staying in your local area? Be willing to travel further distances for an opportunity. Are you just thinking “right now” for your ambitions? Embrace opportunities that will lay the foundation for your ambitions. There are more opportunities out there than what meets the eye but we cannot find them in one centralized box.  Be willing to go the distance to find and attain the opportunities you desire.
  2. Be Willing To Get Dirty For Your Opportunity.  One main gripe about employment opportunities is that they require experience. So what should one do in the meantime when there is a lack of opportunities for a person without adequate experience? Volunteer!  Look for ways to enhance the resume and get some experience.  Laying the groundwork for the opportunity of a lifetime requires sacrifice, hard work, a willing spirit and resilience. Just knowing whether or not one is willing to get “dirty” for their opportunity shows right off the bat whether or not they’re taking this seriously. This stage also shows a person who they are willing to sidestep/overrule/move around to accomplish their goal. One can’t say that they want to be a baker, get the opportunity to do so and then turn it down because someone significant in their life says otherwise. If that continues, one would go through life living it for others but never really living themselves. Break that habit! Get dirty for your opportunity!
  3.  Say YES! So the job doesn’t pay what you thought it would or should: Say yes! The position isn’t full-time: Say yes! The work is a little more complicated than originally thought: Say yes!  Many times, the problem isn’t that there is a lack of opportunity but rather a lack of yeses to the opportunity. It’s almost as if we expect the opportunity to come to us wrapped in a pretty little box with a gorgeous box all on a silver platter and if it’s any less than that, we want to avoid it. We all have to understand that in order to get to the end destination, one has to still drive/fly/swim/run/walk/crawl/paddle/whatever it takes to get there.  As much as one may want to visit Bali, Bali is not going to be any closer to them than they are to it unless that person does something about it.  It takes saying yes, regardless of if it’s verbally or solely through action, to get started. So start saying yes to opportunities that come your way. If it’s meant to be, everything else will figure itself out.

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In one of my favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, John Keating said to his students, “Carpe Diem!! Seize the day! Seize the day boys!” Opportunities are meant to be seized. They are meant to be grabbed with both hands and held on to until it has ended and another opportunity arises. So take the chance! Step out believing in yourself and your talents. Do what you love to do and it will all fall into place.

Until next time, remember this:

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