How To Regain And Reinvent Lost Opportunities

I want to state that, opportunities lost can be recreated, remade, reinvented, and made better if one really and desperately wants to, and on one’s own terms, by applying the self more and avoiding distractions. I got to this awareness after writing a series of articles on the missing O-Word in the success narratives by celebrities, entrepreneurs, media moguls, and computer information telecommunications geniuses. That missing O-word was opportunity. I have failed before, even with all the opportunities I have had in my life. I know the pains of failed dreams.

My position here goes against the dictum that “Opportunity once lost can never be regained.” I maintain a view that new information and communication technologies have made it easier to recreate, reinvent, restart, and rebuild from lost opportunities, if and when one seriously and desperately wants to make a come-back.

Short of conspiracies and sabotages to permanently decimate you, you can comeback from major cataclysmic failures, if you are alive and are willing to pay the price in effort and discipline.

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Many people escaped poverty in Europe and medieval worlds by boarding steamships to new lands in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Old Asia Minor, in those years of perilous sea travels.

Some people trekked across African, Asian, and Middle East deserts, and sometimes with camels loaded with merchandise for sales in the new lands across and away from their ancestral homelands.

But today’s escape from poverty is just a click away, on a computer terminal. Today’s opportunities are diverse, varied, and almost limitless for the astute and ambitious observer.

Yet, many of the success stories still omit the place opportunity plays in today’s successes. These narratives still prefer to rehash the mythical re-enactments of hard-work, grit, grind, luck, and self-denial. All these elements are needed; but they are not sufficient to warrant successes.

A great many men and women have worked very hard and still die in penury.

Many people have won lotteries, only to return to menial and low-paying jobs to put foods on the table and roofs over their heads. Talk about falling from grace to grass!

Luck is not good enough; neither does starving oneself in self-denial, with a hope to accumulating sufficient monies to start a business, or to retire in opulence and comfort.

When opportunities are thrown into the mix of these other elements, there is a higher chance of making it successfully.

It is not always talent, innate knowledge, and hard work that make us great successes. It is more the opportunity to have the space, the spot; to be shown the way, to be in the right company; and to be in the right place with the right kinds of people. Opportunity matters.

In the last posted article I outlined some of the most common assumptions about opportunities. I also answered the questions of where opportunities come from, where they are, and how one can maximize every opportunity to leverage for peak performances and productivity. This is a continuation in that discussion.

Communication Information Technologies Make Possible More Global Opportunities

In this age of ubiquitous communication technology and information explosion that have combined to make the world smaller and flatter by the minute, we are most likely to be in multiple places at the same time. This was unimaginable fifty years ago.

We all give thanks to the genuineness and ingenuity of those who failed several times but refused to give up. These individuals refused to pack their creative bags and baggages to walk away into retirement.

Anyone ready and committed to making a come-back from failures or disappointments can surely find openings somewhere in the new world of computer-information and communication technologies, that can lead to a revival and a resuscitation from lost chances. The chances may not necessarily be the identical ones lost; but they can even be better, more enriching, and more fulfilling.

No Stepping Into Same Water Twice

In a real world, one does not want to step back into the same water twice. It is not realistic to expect to do so. Indeed, it is not possible to step into the same water twice because of the simple fact that the water is not stagnant, but continuously moving.

Our lives should not be stagnant. We should be moving on and forward with, and to new events and activities aimed to enrich and enlarge our horizons.

Technology makes upward movement and mobility even more exciting and impressive by the minute.

So, the aim and thrust of a committed and devoted recovery regiment from missed opportunities, failures, and disappointments should be to look for fresher and more fulfilling waters to step into, and drink to one’s desires.

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How Does One Recover From Failures And Lost Opportunities?

1. Be Determined To Make A Come-Back.

This requires a commitment on one’s part to do whatever it legally takes, to get back into the swing of doing and becoming all that one always wanted, and can possibly be.

2. Overcome Distractions.

One can hardly avoid distractions completely; but one can limit the impact. At the most, one can overcome major distractions from taking away the depth of concentration needed to complete a project. This means sometimes you will have to say “No,” to many of your friends’ and family members’ requests and visitations. It also means cutting down on entertainments and social media contacts and browsing.

3. Be Committed On An Individual Level To A Mission Or Vision At A Time.

It is easy to be drawn, pushed, and pulled in multiple directions. But you must not let it be.

Shoot multiple arrows at the bull’s eyes to get it down. That is the power of coordinated and concentrated efforts at a target-that is your goal to coming back a winner.

4. Employ Multiple Routes and Options to Reaching the Goal.

You can attain success in your own terms by taking different trajectories. No one way is perfect. Don’t get too comfortable taking the same route or driving on the same paved road. Take some bumpy roads that are unpaved. You may learn a thing or two on that ride.

To take one road or way does not preclude taking different directions so long as you are on the way to where you want to go. I drive to walk every day. When I hit traffic congestion, I do not get stuck in the jam. I branch off to take other roads. Sometimes, I take a completely different routes to get to work.

When you are trying a recovery from failed opportunities, your antenna must be roving like the propeller of an helicopter. You are ready for take-off at anytime. You are ready to go to anywhere duty calls. Your propeller and antennas are alert to possibilities.

5. Cultivate New Relationships.

You cannot do it all alone. As much as you can be in several places at the same time electronically, most successes are commiserated on face-to-face contacts.

Find and create a web of contacts and doers who are hooked on you and your ideas. Let them in on your plans to bounce back. Ask for what they can do to make you a part of their team or what they can do to assist you be on your own.

Remember, bouncing back does not mean starting your own business alone. That might be one of the larger plans on the horizon; but now, you just want to be seen, and be known, as one competent and reliable individual who can add value to an existing enterprise; or to an existing relationship in a network. Belong to become. Or, become to belong.

6. Expand Your Network Of Like-Minded Individuals In Your Areas Of Interest.

It is sometimes difficult to get connected. Several ways to do this have proven successful in the past. In my earlier articles I enumerated some ways to gain access and respect from many like-minded members in your professional spheres. Now, trying to get your foot in the door could be through the back-door. Get someone in the group to sponsor your membership.

Volunteerism is one way one can be noticed by a collective of like–minded persons and professionals that can come to be useful resources for reviving one’s career or revamping an image.

7. Get Hooked On Productive And Relaxation Activities To Stretch Your Brain Power.

One needs to find outlets for relaxation and recreation. Recreation is an energizer. Many people do not have the luxury of owning a gym or a treadmill in-house. But memberships in exercise outposts and outfits near ones work or home can be an encouraging move to reviving the self from exhaustion.

8. Fill Your Time With Activities That Advance Your Goal.

Once in a while one needs to walk away from the regiment of work and work, with no room for non-work-related activities. Yet, work-related activities are necessary to stay on track. So, whenever possible “kill two birds with one stone.” By this I mean that there could be some jumbo activities that incorporate word and add value towards the project at hand.

For example, going on a road trip would afford one the luxury of spending time with friends or family. But having a stack of books-on-tape in the car for some learning and educational activities to accelerate your learning curve toward executing a particular project one is embarking on, is a wise investment on time that adds to your goals.

9. Remain Consistently and Persistently Creative and Productive.

You must not stop learning. You have to continuously create and rec-create. The more you do, the better you become.

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10. Always Be Doing Something Productive And Challenging.

It is incomprehensible to not be married to a project while trying to climb out from a hole. That is motivation. That too is focus.

It is not sufficient to be busy doing nothing. Whatever one does must have some element of challenge to it. Challenges allow one to learn something new and to acquire new skills.

Adding new skills to one’s already acquired competencies is a great access and resource to advancing one’s marketability and adaptability.

11. Get Out of the Comforting Activities That Do Not Tax Your Endurance.

It is far much easier to do what is predictably comfortable. Humans love the known from the unknown. We do not like ambiguity. Not knowing puts us at a disadvantage. But the risk to playing safe and going for the known is that everyone does it.

What is common is not exciting. What is readily available is not going to make waves. It does not add value.

The whole idea surrounding disruption is to break out of the mold of the known. Going against the normal should be the new normal for one who had once failed and wants to make a comeback.

The athletes who win gold medals practice endless hours before the cheers and standing ovations that follow their wins. So also must do the individual who wants to make a re-entry into the world of new opportunities he or she once was a part of.

No one, not even after failure is going to hand over victory to you on a platter of gold. You have to work harder and sweat more profusely; and more frequently than ever before.

12. Be Vulnerable.

It is common to assume an aura of invincibility because one does not want to communicate to onlookers or friends and family members that one lacks the mental and attitudinal force to bounce-back. Then one wears this face of never cracking under pressure.

There is pressure in failure. There is even more pressure to want to come back as a viable contender in the race to become again.

Yet, in spite of all the pressures, one must admit when the load is heavier and getting to one’s breaking point. One needs to take breaks. Recuperate. And come back to where one left off.

A better option is to embark on a piecemeal tactic to accomplishing one’s goals. Bits-by-bits can win a long distance race.

As they say about winning a marathon, this comeback plan is a marathon; not a sprint.

13. Ask For Assistance From Experts.

While relying on one’s inner motivations and acquired or learned competencies, there will be areas where one would need experts and other professionals to shepherd one’s ideas and projects through to completion.

14. Have A Plan For Coming Back And Stick to It.

One must devise more than a strategy or strategies for bouncing back. Coming back must be multi-directional and multi-dimensional. Salad has many ingredients in it and that is why it tastes so good and is highly nutritious. This analogy to a re-inventing of the self is most appropriate in that the new life one wants is like a salad bowl with many pieces of various greens and vegetables, nuts, dressings, and cheese. It is that whole combination that makes it delicious.

See your come-back plan as a medley of many parts. Eat them all.

When the plan is in place, you must adhere to it. You must pursue it religiously and aggressively. A plan is only as good as its execution. Planning without the capacity and motivation to execute is equally as dead as not having a plan at all.

15. Avoid Trash Talks And Time-Wasting Phone Chats And Gossipy Encounters On Social Media.

To many who believe gossips and surfing the internet is a good pass-time activity, this suggestion may fall on deaf ears. But in all probabilities, it is one of the best ways to re-invest one’s times and get back to higher productivity.

When trying to re-invent the self and rediscover from a loss, one needs more education on the new skills needed to be competitive and relevant to prospective employers in this constantly evolving marketplace. Web-surfing not related to self-improvement is a waste of time. It must be avoided and shunned by all means.

Instead of seeing the web as entertainment outpost, it should be cultivated and invested in an as an educational outpost. Replace entertainment with educatainment!

16. Avoid Persons, Places, And Projects That Do Not Add Value To Your Time And Recovery Plans.

At some time and point in the growth of any individual, one would have to walk away from, not abandon or disown, some friends and family members who are not aiding one’s personal and spiritual or professional growths. This may sound cold and calculating.

One can still be friends and family from a distance; but not the ones one runs to for emotional and professional shoulders to cry on. They are not there for you any longer. The earlier one realizes this the better for one’s sanity.

17. Identify Connectors and Influencers Within Your Areas Of Interest.

It is not possible to know everyone in your discipline or in the new areas one has decided to explore. Even more complex is when one moves into a new place or profession or location.

Making new friends takes time. So one needs an established name and face, to show one the ropes and introduce one to new peoples and new places that would make the transition easier and smoother.

18. Be Ready For Rebuffs and Rejections and Naysayers.

It is natural to be discouraged by many not to embark on a mission they themselves have never dreamed of, or imagined it being done. Yet, there will be some who support your ideas readily.

In all instances, remain gracious and thankful. Move on to doing what your mind tells you.

Listen your inner voice.

You cannot afford to wait for all the answers from everyone and everywhere before you start to re-launch yourself.

19. Don’t Take No For Answers; But Always Find, Invent, And Explore Alternative Solutions.

Some people would frown at this option, dismissing it as hardheadedness. Far from it; it is knowing what one needs to do to attain some levels of access, competence, and re-engagement.

But one who adopts this approach has to be sensitive to the perceptions by onlookers, lest one be dismissed as being arrogant and all-knowing.

This demands creativity and imagination, to find or unearth options toward achieving one’s goals.

20. Let Your Guiding Motto Be, “There’s Got To Be Other And Better Ways.”

Here, I am talking about you not settling for less or for mediocrity. Be the best you can be in whatever route you take to come back. Exhaust all possibilities in that moment and time.

But remember, there are always new inventions that might overtake you. So you have to act fast and be furious with the ideas or projects you have decided on.

Do not be so easily contented with your choices. Someone might come up with something better. So do many computations with varying combinations.

Play out the possible combinations. Challenge yourself to look for alternatives that the competitor or rival might spring on your ideas and plans.

21. Be Hungry Enough To Eat Your Ideas To The Fullest.

By this I mean that you have to read, dissect, internalize, externalize, and tweak with your ideas as many times as is possible. You may want to join support groups and get new mentors to vet your ideas.

If you want to eat well, you have to spend time to prepare the meal or spend some extra monies to go to the best eateries. Or, pay a high-end chef to do the food preparation for you. The food analogy is relevant to you wanting to eat well your ideas for easy digestion. That is, to make it, your ideas, tight for public consumption, absorption and adoption.

22. Be Imaginative.

No one creative person can afford to be complacent with ideas. No one is born with ideas. Ideas are imaginary springs that sprout out from one’s streams of consciousness. This means that the more one is exposed to a variety of individual and/or collective experiences, the more one is susceptible to generating ideas.

Yet, some other ideas come from the minds of imagining peoples. One can have an inspiration from dreams and travels and exchanges with strangers in public places.

Ideas are everywhere. It is a matter of harnessing and packaging them for mass consumption that make geniuses out of a few.

Create your own ideas. Invent some things new that were not there while you were falling.

Be innovative.

Be discrete; else people will steal from you in this new age of cyber spies and hackers.

23. Be Restless.

The restlessness factor in coming back from failures and blown opportunities is critical in the sense that one must be ready to soak in everything that comes one’s way. That means nothing is too trivial or negligible at that first rebound from a calamity. The kind of rebound I am speaking about is to expose the self to multiplicities of options and possibilities without necessarily going to bed with everyone of the ideas.

In exposing the self to a variety of ideas, one is playing the field, again, not in the sexual connotative meaning of playing the field. But in the sense that one is open to many more genres, types, compilations from successful others who had done the same things one is interested.

At least, one would have to study the biographies and memoirs of known actors and titans in one’s areas of interest to be able to discern and then decided which routes to take, either in independently of these others, or in combination of snippets of these or other forms from diverse sources.

24. Be Disciplined.

This is a no brainer. Discipline means that one is focused and able to sift through the rubbles of ideas that come after one with multiple exposures and resources slamming on the walls of one’s brain and imaginative fields like the atoms hitting on the walls of the molecule.

Discipline is also self-denial. One must forego many things to get to where one really wants.

One cannot be a life of the party every weeknight and hope to be creatively productive. One has to make a choice between sleeping late to accomplish a project or staying awake on a club date, chatting the night away with friends and acquaintances.

Similarly, one has to decide whether to make it back into the swing of things in five or ten years; or to do so in the least amount of time, say, in two years or even in one year.

These are major decisions that take a harder look at one’s lifestyles and priorities.

25. Stamina Spells Longevity.

While one must not discount good fortune in bouncing back, one must realize the implicitness of hidden opportunities one must scout for and seize them when they present themselves. This means that one has to stay on top of current events and happenings in one’s environment. These demand strength and healthy lifestyle to rest and recuperate while also ‘scavengering’ for ideas and benefactors that would push one’s ideas through the appropriate channels for high visibility and referrals.

No one is an island. No one ever became the most successful all by themselves.

One needs stamina and energy to outlast the competitors, to outlast oneself; and to outlast the lost opportunities.

To re-invent the self after a cataclysmic loss means that one has to survive and thrive. One has to outlive the disaster with and in good health and vitality.

26. Live a Healthy and Purposeful Life.

This goes without saying that a healthy body harbors a healthy mind. Don’t get me wrong. One can have a very healthy mind in a weak and decapitated body. The case in point is a cancer patient who is still of sound mind but the body is weakened by the disease; or a wounded soldier who is forced to live in a vegetative state, due circumstances of war that took away his/her physical mobility, while the mind still remains intact. Short of these kinds of catastrophic ailments, a healthy body is needed for the proper and purposeful functioning of the life of a come-back kid after any failure. This means in essence:

One has to eat well.

One has to stay away from drugs, unless prescribed.

One has to avoid dependencies on many chemicals entering into one’s body.

One has to exercise both mind and muscles.

One has to rest well.

One has to relax.

One has to sleep well.

The minimum requirement of eight hours sleep is standard recommendation by sleep experts and high productivity levels. Yet, many people have been able to function with four hours of sleep or even with six hours on a daily bases and still maintain top performance. But I would not advise that, not being a doctor or sleep expert. I would want to lean on the natural dosage of six-to-eight hours of sleep daily, in order to function exceedingly well and be a top rebouncer and rebounder, to use basketball language.

27. Be Alert To Opportunities In Hidden And Unexpected Places.

Opportunities are not bottled in a bottle and dropped by the seashores for you to go pick it up. Neither are opportunities in the confines of your four-walled apartment of sleeping crypt.

Opportunities are everywhere; but you must be out there and be looking and be aware of what it is that constitutes opportunity for you.

What others see as opportunity might not be it for you, and vice versa.

Be always looking. Be alert. And when you see it, don’t hesitate. Grab that ball and run for the borders. Run for the basket. Swing the sucker for the hole. Swing it hard and with intensity and ferocity.

We all have heard of the mantra, Carpe Diem. That is, seize the time. Seize the moment. Capitalize on the moment. Run with it. Leverage it. Make it memorable. Go for the touchdown, the slam dunk, the goal.

28. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail Again and Again, And Some More.

One can get immobilized by the past failures. And then one is tempted to take it slow or to avoid heights. My cousin advised me to slow down after my last fall.

You should not allow past failures to determine or dictate your future successes. Don’t fly low. Fly cautiously though. But please, fly.

Aim higher. Shoot for the stars. If you fall, you sure will make a big splash, than if you felled from low altitudes.

When big trees fall or are felled in the forest, they make big sounds. It follows a path to its fall. It does not waver or meander in the air. It is straight on down. When a leaf falls from the trees, no one hears.

Be the big tree that falls; not the tiny wavery leaf that the wind can easily blow away to an undetermined destination. The difference between you and the big tree is that you are able to stand up and try again to stand taller than before.

The higher the elevation, the louder the sound of the fall. It alerts bystanders to rush to rescue you. So aim higher. Fall louder. So you can attract rescuers to assist you to stand up again.

29. There Must Be No End To Your Ambitions.

Standing up after any fall or failure is a habit you have to cultivate. It means you do not accept externally imposed failures. And that no one can dictate the levels of your success. You have the keys to your successes.

Because you do not ask anyone to grant you permission to succeed, you must not have limitations or limits to what you want to achieve or can achieve. You set the goals. You set your limits. There will be obstacles and hindrances. But, it is within your powers to circumvent, walk around and overcome them.

Some flowers bloom in the school yards and gardens unseen. In this phase of coming back, you have to bloom brightly.

30. Never Be Ashamed Of Failures Or Successes.

I remember being told in graduate schools to slow down. I was told the same in my professional life. I was doing too much too soon, they rationalized. I was making some people look incompetent and feel bad. These were detractors, intent to stalling my growths.

You should not be ashamed of failures. Neither should you be ashamed of your successes. Stand up. Educate yourself the more, on strategies to get back up and be running again.

CALL TO ACTION

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