How to spot opportunities that will make you matter in life

“Opportunities lost can never be regained” Wrong! Opportunities come to us all the time. In life, we come across opportunities and second chances every single day. The problem is that we don’t know how to spot the opportunities. This inability to recognize opportunities is what makes us think that they only come once.

This is why we think opportunities only come once; because we have expectations. We have already determined what we want to do and to be in our minds, we have already pictured how we want our lives to look like and the steps we plan to take toward achieving them. Once an opportunity comes and they don’t look like our expectations and our desires, we fail to spot it.

Take for example, someone who wants to be a professional photographer. Such person will only look for opportunities to showcase their talents or avenues to learn more photography. Now if he or she sees an opportunity to learn a foreign language, they probably won’t take it because they are only desire opportunities in photography. I mean what has foreign languages got to do with photography right?

Unknown to our photographer or budding photographer, learning a foreign language is a good and relevant skill that goes with photography. It will give him an edge over other local competitors and rightly position him for international opportunities. When the door opens to travel, he won’t find it difficult and he could actually become a travel photographer, working with international brands and organizations.

Let me use a more personal and prevalent example, an employee who works as an accountant in an organization, and whose job description is to audit accounts and reconcile cheques (including loads of other stuff accountants do). Call him employee A.

A coworker falls ill, on leave or resigns (call him employee B). Employee A was then asked to fill in till a replacement is gotten. So now his JD includes auditing accounts, reconciling cheques and…wait for it…drafting letters, writing proposals and sending memos. But employee A wasn’t having all of that, so he blatantly refused to fill in, pointing out that that wasn’t in his JD.

The management eventually hired a replacement for employee B. What happened is that employee A has passed on (or refused) an opportunity to learn much more than what he’s accustomed to, he only likes to know more on the accounting stuff. So he’s knowledge is limited and he only knows accounts, he will keep passing on chances to learn things that are not accounting except he changes his mind.

What am I saying? We are unable to spot opportunities because they are disguised in problems and they do not meet our expectations. Although a door might open and you might not take it because it’s not in line with your dreams but open your eyes to them.

Once in a while, doors will open for you, doors you did not open by yourself but opened by others, by situations or by events. Opportunities can come more than once but that opportunity you need might come and you’ll fail to recognize it, to avoid that do the following.

a) Expect opportunities – expect opportunities at every point in time and expect them from different angles, and expect different kinds of opportunities. Don’t be fixated on one direction alone, be open to different suggestions and keep an open mind.

b) Prospect opportunities – “Good things come to those who wait” wrong! Good things come to those who seek for good things. If you don’t dig for crude oil in 6 feet, you can’t encounter it. If you are not hungry for opportunities, when they come, you’ll fail to recognize it.

c) Protect opportunities – You protect opportunities by acting on them, if you don’t, it will be taken away from you. What you don’t protect, you lose. Those who don’t know how to protect what has been entrusted to them soon lose it.

d) Respect opportunities – When doors are opened for you, don’t take them for granted, don’t ignore what God has done for you. Respect opportunities when they come because what you do not respect ultimately exits your life, but what you respect will find you. Respect opportunities by showing faithfulness no matter how small it is, when you’re giving opportunity to do something, give it all your best and greater doors will open for you.

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