Have you ever faced a problem that actually provided you with an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward in a better way? I’m sure we’ve all been there, however most of the time we fail to recognize these opportunities because we’re too transfixed on our problem. We worry, we fret, and we stress about the consequences of this problem, and subsequently fail to see the value of having this problem in the first place. As a result, we miss out on the real opportunities that life consistently presents us with. However, you need not miss out on an opportunity ever again by working through the following six steps.
1) CLARIFY YOUR GOALS
The first step to making the most of life’s opportunities is to know exactly what it is you want. In other words, what goals do you want to achieve? Having goals provides you clarity and helps you focus on your most important activities and priorities. However, simply knowing what you want unfortunately isn’t enough. You also need to understand what a potential opportunity looks like. More specifically, you need to clarify exactly what kind of opportunities you are looking for and how these opportunities can be of value to help move you toward the attainment of your goals.
2) MENTALLY PREPARE YOURSELF
Has anyone ever told you that opportunities are abound? I guess what they meant was that life is full of opportunities. However, how many of us are actually capable of taking advantage of the opportunities life throws our way? Statistically speaking, probably not a great many people. Most people are unfortunately ill-prepared for opportunities. They are ill-prepared because they simply don’t have the relevant knowledge, skills, support and tools at their disposal to make the most of opportunity. As a result, hasty and careless decisions are made that turn opportunities into insurmountable problems.
3) NETWORK WITH PEOPLE
For a great many people opportunity comes in the form of a weekly lottery ticket. However, the odds of that ticket turning into a positive outcome are of course extremely slim. The truth is that real opportunities come through one single channel, and that channel almost always involves people. Yes, people are the one key factor that can help drive opportunity your way. It is often said that it’s not what you know, but rather who you know that matters. With this in mind, it’s important to regularly spend time connecting and networking with people who can potentially help you get ahead and achieve your goals.
4) QUESTION EVERYTHING
Opportunities don’t just suddenly appear in front of our eyes like the genie in Aladdin’s Lamp. Many times opportunities actually come to us in very covert ways — slipping right under the radar. In such instances it’s not about taking advantage of opportunity but rather about “opportunity creation”. And that’s of course where questions come into the picture. Asking questions that challenge you to think outside the box in creative ways stretches your imagination and encourages you to see things a little differently. Curiosity then becomes the driving force that helps you spot hidden opportunities in any situation.
5) RECOGNIZE THE OPPORTUNITY
For the most part, opportunities don’t come wrapped up in a gift basket. They rather come dressed in dirty overalls holding a shovel. In other words, life’s opportunities are often disguised as problems that require hard work and major emotional discomfort. And it is for this very reason why most people fail to recognize opportunities. They fail to recognize an opportunity because they expect opportunities to be given to them on a silver platter. If it ain’t easy, then it ain’t no opportunity but rather a distasteful set of tasks that require too much effort. And as a result, they fail to make the most of their situation.
6) TAKE CALCULATED RISKS
Having recognized your opportunity, it’s now time to use it to your advantage. And many times of course, this does involve some degree of risk. Weigh up the pros and cons of your predicament and then choose to either act quickly — to make the most of this opportunity — or choose to move on. It’s up to you to decide whether or not an opportunity is truly worth taking. There are after all no guarantees. Your risks might not payoff in the end, but if you’re careful and calculated, they very much may. Remember though, that sometimes the true value of an opportunity lies in the choices left unmade.
Many years from now when you reflect upon the journey you’ve taken, you may very well realize that everything you have accomplished effectively comes down to the choices you’ve made. You either chose to take advantage of that opportunity, or you chose to do something else. Either way, something happened and your entire life script was subsequently written on the canvas of the decision you made.
In the moment, we will of course never truly know where each of our choices will take us. That’s something we will eventually discover years down the track. Looking back, there may even be some regrets and disappointment, and most of them will probably be because of opportunities not taken, and choices not made.
Imagine for a moment you could develop new habits and methods of thinking where you naturally and effortlessly adopt these ideas into your life. How would that make you feel? Would you feel more fulfilled, empowered and in control?
Yes, there is such simplicity within this IQ Doodle, but of course there is a reason for that. Making positive change doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just needs to be a consistent process where we progressively develop new habits-of-mind through repeated exposure and implementation. And that’s what these IQ Doodles are for.
We have prepared for you an IQ Doodle pack that includes several variations of this IQ Doodle that you can use for guidance and inspiration throughout the day. Use it consistently and you will begin making positive changes in the way you live, work and interact with others.
Visit the IQ Doodle Store to learn more about how to use this IQ Doodle and begin optimizing the way you live your life today.
Learn More About this Topic
Want to know more about this topic? Here are some helpful links to articles that you may find of value:
- 3 Ways to Unlock Opportunity in What Scares You @ Huffington Post
- How to Prepare Yourself for Big Opportunities @ Inc.
- How to Unlock Opportunities to Achieve Your Life’s Goals @ IQ Matrix
- The Best Opportunities are the Ones You Create Yourself @ 99u
- The Smartest Leaders Make their Own Opportunities @ Harvard Business Review