True opportunity presents itself outside the realm of time and space. It’s in fact, an illusion of luck, talent and hard work — those attributes are parameters that lead to the appearance of genuine opportunity.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
I believe that opportunity is a disguise for choice. There is no right and wrong answer to a coveted job offer or long anticipated raise.
“Opportunity is not a state of an obscure and ideal future situation, but rather your current state of mind — perspective.”
Many people falsely tie the possibility of opportunity with those attributes — hard work will get that talent noticed and with a bit of luck you’ll strike the golden ticket. Absolutely, without those amazing personal (and not) qualities, your chances of meeting opportunity are slim to none.
You may in fact work all day like a maniac and cross your fingers that luck may greet you at the proper time or spend all your nights contemplating how wonderful life could be if the right opportunity presented itself, while at the same time doing nothing.
That’s a recipe for going nowhere.
You need to understand that opportunity is not a future state of things. It’s not even a state of things at all. Neither hard work nor imagining how awesome things can be will get you where your heart really wants to go — because you are thinking that opportunity is about space and time: how it will show itself in the future and how it will get you to the future.
“Opportunity is how you perceive the future state of things with a present state of mind.”
When in fact, opportunity is about the past and the present; opportunity is about how you perceive the future state of things with a present state of mind. A state of mind is a must for having already made the choice — hard work, talent and luck are all those things that will fuel your state of mind and, ultimately, opportunity will tell you why you made that choice.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Stop admiring other people
Admiration is a form of slavery. Admiration limits your perception of opportunity and alters your present state of mind within the realm of that person’s story and success. Admiration will either lead you to succumb to your own flaws by constantly comparing yourself to a god of perfection or make the wrong choice when the opportunity comes, based on merits and virtues of the person you admire, instead of your own deep wishes.
Instead, respect them. Respect will enable you to look past that seemingly endless perfection and into the heart of things. Respect allows you to self improve based on someone else’s failures and hardships, to follow by example and to incorporate a state of mind that invites limitless opportunities by broadening your perception of people you respect.
2) Raise your expectations
Dreaming big requires thinking big; acting big requires even more thinking big. Don’t be fooled by surrounding yourself with compassionate people and things that stroke your ego for a couple of days. These situations will make you pat yourself on the back when you slack over on Facebook until six in the morning, instead of infuriate you.
Raising your expectations is one of the key ingredients to untie yourself of burdens that hold you back on things you constantly wish you had the energy to be doing instead. The only form of measuring whether your present state of mind is the one that enables you to dream and think and act upon the things that will lead you to the future state of things is expectations: of yourself, of the things you want and of the people you have surrounded yourself with.
3) Discard the mentality of impossibility
Here’s the hardest part: if you really want to believe you can do it, you need to let go of your mentality that things are impossible. From ‘I am no one’ to ‘I am nothing’ and ‘I can’t finish this’ to ‘who am I kidding’, this mentality is making you miserable and bored.
“It’s the same as shutting your ears with your hands and singing with your loudest voice. It doesn’t really work.”
When we refuse to believe in something we distance ourselves from people and things that are, even at the slightest level, attempting to show us otherwise. We are ready to turn comforting, easy-going and ‘here’s a quick solution’ people into our closest friends and those who want to help us into our most hating enemies.
This mentality is the equivalent of shutting your ears with your hands and singing with your loudest voice, when there’s a face across you screaming you shouldn’t sleep tonight on the train tracks.
4) Suck up to it
You know what’s even better than a pat on the back and a sweet ‘it’s ok’? Running; not having to deal with a mistake; turning a blind eye and forcing your mind to discard the nuisances of guilt and wrong-doing in the pretence of ‘doing better next time’ or some other non whimsical self-sabotaging belief.
“Lying is the result of refusing to deal with a situation.”
The worst thing about apologizing and dealing with a messy situation is fear. Fear of discomforting consequences which are, by definition, an unpleasant wake-up call that you don’t have the proper present state of mind. Choose to deal with it: an apology, a leap of faith, a few moments of extended discomfort — anything. Your present state of mind and compassion will gradually begin to engulf a broader understanding of choices and beliefs.
Here’s the gist:
When failures and misery and discomforting situations, burnt bridges and saddening destroyed friendships start becoming the key ingredients of your pursuit of happiness, you will understand that opportunity had already knocked on your door long before it presented itself in terms of a future state of things. Because you persevered, from day one.
For me, opportunity was a choice of 497 kilometers.
George helps individuals and organisations bridge the gap in web design through innovative ideas and collaborative thinking.