Thursday, June 13, 2013

Do You See Opportunity?

Opportunity wears many disguises.  You won't always find it in familiar places.  Here are ten places where opportunity may be lurking in your life:
  1. Rejection.  This is painful.  I've experienced this many times.  The good news here is that rejection is the feedback necessary to identify areas of your life that need attention.  Rejection shines a light on your weak areas.  If you can see the light, you can get better.
  2. Job loss.  For many, their job is their identity.  When a lay-off comes, they are lost.  Those who accept a job loss as part of a world that is rapidly changing and adapt find new opportunity.
  3. Natural disasters.  Forced evacuations have a way of bringing people together.  I survived two wildfires during my time in Southern California.  Both evacuations lasted about a week.  During that time, I really got to know my neighbors.  I also witnessed the human heart.  There's nothing better than knowing there are people out there who care about you, especially when you're in the middle of a wildfire, tornado or other kind of natural disaster.
  4. Loss of a loved one.  Some of the greatest caregivers on our planet are the ones who lost someone they loved.  They know the pain and the hurt and they use this pain to help others in similar situations.  Use your loss to help others and you will find comfort.
  5. The end of the rope.  This is a scary place.  Maybe you find yourself hanging by a thread today.  The world keeps telling you, "hang on!"  I heard a different voice the day I found myself at the end of my rope.  The voice said, "let go."  The day I let go of the rope and put my faith in God I began to see all kinds of new opportunities in my life.
  6. Dead ends.  If you are like me, you can't stand it when the road you've been on for many years turns out to be a dead end.  If you are willing to turn around and head in a different direction, you will find new roads filled with new opportunities.  
  7. Defeat.  You may feel good when you are on a winning streak and everything is going well in your life, however, your opportunity for the greatest growth appears when you have been knocked down.  Ask any professional athlete how he or she made it to the top and they will tell you it comes from learning lessons in your losses.  Your opponent is keen on identifying your weaknesses.  They may never be exposed until you are defeated.  
  8. When someone hurts you.  You can spend your lifetime thinking about all those sucker punches you got when your guard was down, or you can forgive the person(s) who hurt you.  Forgiveness is an opportunity to be an example instead of a victim.
  9. When you feel like a misfit.  There is great opportunity for anyone willing to swim upstream when the rest of the world is going in the opposite direction.  Try it.  You will be ridiculed and you will be misunderstood.  It's worth it.
  10. When others tell you that you are a failure or that what you are seeking is impossible.  This is one of my favorites.  I was a young kid when I bought my first condo.  The first lender I spoke with took one look at me and laughed.  The next lender found a way to help me.  The first broker I spoke with on a job interview in my early twenties told me he only hired experienced realtors.  By the time we were done speaking, he hired me.  After I shook hands with him, I told him, "I'll be ready to start as soon as I get my real estate license."  When I relocated to the Midwest over one year ago, I immediately started looking at property, even though I had no job and no money.  97 people out of 100 told me there was no hope.  The other three said, "let's talk."  My wife and I agreed to purchase the home on the top of our list.  We set up a rent to own program with the seller which was converted to a real estate contract once we both secured jobs.  These examples are only the tip of the iceberg.  I see opportunity every time someone says, "you can't do that" or "it's impossible."
Where are your opportunities?  Are you looking in the right places?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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