Opportunity is misunderstood and therefore goes unrecognized, especially in our ever changing society. Most people define opportunities to themselves as situations with high likelihood of success. They weigh the pro’s and con’s of a situation and if the pro’s outweigh the con’s it is perceived as a good opportunity; this makes us fixated on solely the outcome, the result.
When opportunity is truly recognized it doesn’t look like a list of pro’s and con’s that relate to a person’s goals. Because, principally, opportunity is not a situation that will bear a high success probability, it is more effectively defined as situations with a high growth probability. Opportunity doesn’t care about result, it is best thought of as two words, a ‘learning opportunity.’ When we learn, we grow. If we are fixated on the outcome, we do not grow. Adversely, we get stuck in our own thoughts and our performance suffers as the actual result.
This is the reason that opportunity is so hard to recognize. It’s usually right in front of our nose, but like many beginner chess players, people think about checkmate before the crucial stage of developing their pieces. In turn, leaving big holes leading to an inevitable loss of the game. But therein lies the opportunity; we need to realize that there will always be more chess games to play. Most people are fixated on the result of their play and the outcome of the individual game, not thinking about the process of learning for the next game. It is only when we can start using the previous game as an opportunity for learning, will we start winning more chess games in the future. Ultimately, your opportunity is built into your journey; recognizing it is difficult if we are fixated on the many trails that seem to lead to tempting destinations ahead. Our journey is best traveled in constant pursuit and execution of the difficult millimeters directly in front of us, rather than waiting for the miles between us and our perceived destination to happen on its own.
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