On a business trip this morning in the plane I read a very interesting article, “How Successful People Find Opportunity” by Brian Parsley. His article speaks about how we live each day with a million missed opportunities that are potentially staring us in the face waiting for us to notice but we are entirely engulfed in the ‘rut’ of life.
He goes to explain his experience, which I will briefly take you through. He was employed by a company on contract to go and recruit a successful sales team that stood out in their performance and had what it took to shine in the customer service industry. In order to achieve this, in his sensible mind going to a shopping center was the right place to be; and naturally one would assume that would be where all the service superstar were to be found with all the retail stores and restaurants. However he quickly noticed that he was entirely wrong, not that any of them were rude, but they were blasé and transactional, nothing that really stood out, no passion, excitement or enthusiasm. After 3 hours of shopping he only managed to find two potential recruits.
He represented a huge opportunity, yet people are too ‘busy’ to look up and notice; think about how many potential opportunities you have missed in your life, how many potential clients have passed you by. These are all missed opportunities and this makes me sad; I have no doubt that at times (probably more than I put out), I have been too consumed to open my eyes and see something for more than it was.
Imagine we change our perspective on life, imagine you are able to change the way you think about all the mundane daily ‘tasks’, imagine you are able to change the thing you once saw as a ‘task’ and are now able to see it as a new and exciting challenge. And you should, making something that is so seemingly meaningless actually meaningful is an art that everyone should consider taking up in life. This briefly goes back to my previous article ‘Meet me at 10:07am’ be SIMPLY different. Make something ordinary, extraordinary. This is simpler than seems, all we have to do is open our eyes and start thinking differently. Start getting excited about things, life is too short to hate everything that you do. Gosh, imagine everyday waking up and hating your life, then you are truly missing out on opportunities of all types. I promise you, life is not that bad.
So Brain Parsley goes on to giving us 2 simple steps to follow: (easy enough)
- REMAIN PRESENT
“Opportunities are everywhere. Most people look for a waving flag or a big in-your face billboard that says; ‘Hey you! Here is an opportunity!’ When they don’t get what they wanted or expected they blame it on bad luck or wrong place, wrong time”
Our society has made us lazy and ‘expectant’, we feel entitled and are stunned when we don’t land our bums in the butter. I say to hell with that! There are 6 billion people in this world, tell me what makes you so special, why should you be more noticed than the person sitting next to you? Is it because you have a prettier face or nicer accent. Wake up! Most things in life are subjective, but if you are able to be seen objectively as awesome, you are doing it right.
There is never a perfect time or place for an opportunity. I know we have been taught to create short-term and long-term plans for ourselves, write ‘to do’ lists and go on a hustle but what if an opportunity comes along that doesn’t fit in your short or long-term plan. Are you going to let that be missed because it doesn’t fit your timing, or are you going to grab it with both hands and make the best of it? Sometimes I believe that it comes down to ‘what’s meant to be will be’ so no matter how much you plan it will never go the way you expect. But then again, waiting around and not opening yourself to life, nothing will happen and what’s meant to be will not have the opportunity to knock on your door and present itself. You have to be active and engaging in life. You only have one life so make the most of it.
Opportunities are out there, everywhere, but sometimes they are hidden under the surface and in order to see them you need to change the way you think. Instead of hoping that opportunities will hunt you down, you need to be on high alert for them. We are creatures of habits and we tend to use our past experiences to predict the future, although NO ONE can predict the future. Your past experiences do shape the way you view the world (basics of cybernetics), so rather see the world in a positive light. Don’t let you past cloud your judgement. Live in the moment, be present and alert and view every encounter as an opportunity.
- FOLLOW UP ON AN OPPORTUNITY
Persistence is key, the more I have heard speakers speak at presentations, and the more I encounter successful people, I realize that without being persistent you won’t get very far in life. So if you believe in something, get excited and chase that dream at full speed, and stopping for a wine break here and there is most certainly allowed. Remember there needs to be a balance between work and pleasure (Everything in moderation). BUT…
Following up is crucial, it shows interest and intent. And don’t follow up in a generic manner. Be different and memorable. As I said in my previous article it is the smallest of changes that can make you interesting and stand out. So in essence what everyone is doing, do it differently and do it better. How will you be remembered? Be genuine and interesting.
We as humans are simple creatures living in a fast paced life, with overwhelming amounts of technology to makes our lives simpler, yet more complex. But ultimately all we want is affection, appreciation and company. When a person helps you meet those basic needs, then there is an immediate attraction to that person. So when you are following up on a opportunity, be engaging and focus on the other person, they have already noticed and engaged with you so now return the favor. When you communicate in a way that connects with other people personally, you not only differentiate yourself but unlock the opportunities presented to you.
Begin today to be more approachable. Take all the positivity that you have and radiate it from the inside out to the world.
Be present and open up your eyes. If you take a second to look back at your life till this point in time you will realize that it actually flew past so quickly; so what moments stand out to you? Do you regret not doing something? Do you wish you could have changed something? Well, I am glad to inform you all that it is not too late, you still have a whole life in front of you so don’t live in the past live in today. Be happy, get excited even for the mundane things and I promise you things will start to turn around for the positive for you.
I was on a plane back home (while I wrote this) and I am excited.
It’s simply that complex…