We have been conditioned to see a world of what we do not have, instead of focusing on a world of what we can have. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overhauls and looks like work,” Thomas Edison. We often don’t recognize opportunity as we are not looking for opportunities to recognize it.
We’ve heard the saying, opportunity knocks, but what if the door that it knocks upon is your impenetrable barrier called lack-focus? A focus on what we lack, may serve as unintended ear-plugs to opportunity.
Many may relate to not being paid enough, not being recognized enough at work, or not achieving a certain level of success. Each of these scenarios are lack-focused. We lack, therefore we cannot have what we have claimed as our property (i.e. I do not make the income I would like). Our lack becomes what we claim and identify with.
Our frustration can be turned into a powerful tool to shift our mindset toward an opportunity seeking mindset. With this mindset, we pull out the ear-plugs and are instantly in a position to recognize when opportunity knocks. Let me illustrate, as this perspective shift is incredibly simple, yet exponentially powerful.
If we say that we do not make enough money- we have an opportunity to make more money. If we say that we are not recognized for our accomplishments at work- we have an opportunity to become recognized for our accomplishments at work. And for success? You guessed it! When we shift away from a lack-focus mindset, we realize that our lack of success, to the degree we define success, is indeed, an opportunity to succeed.
A key to our success is that we fully understand the depth of our being responsible for creating our own opportunities. “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees every opportunity in every difficulty,” Winston Churchill. Sun Tsu stated that “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
As we begin a shift in perspective toward focusing on what we can have, instead of what we do not have, it will seems as if there is an endless series of open doors. It’s pretty remarkable how just a simple change in how we view and interpret the world around us can affect our outcomes.
“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor,” Jackson Brown. People often mistakenly say that we must be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of opportunities. It could be argued that opportunity is all around us at all times. Therefore, it is always the right place and the right time- it depends on our willingness to recognize that opportunity exists at all times.
In addition to not being in the right mindset to recognize an infinite realm of opportunities, we may choose to cut ourselves off from opportunity by issuing premature judgement about our abilities. Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson advises that, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes- then learn how to do it.”
It’s important that we not only open our eyes and ears to opportunity, but that we don’t offer judgement based on our current state. If we are in a current state of lack (whatever we accept to be), we may make excuses for why we cannot seize an opportunity- lack attracts lack.
However, when we see that we have an opportunity, for example to make more money, but we aren’t sure how we are going to do it, we now have an opportunity to learn and grow. As we begin take on the world as if it were a smorgasbord of opportunities, our attitude changes and our life changes.
Yes, in part, this is like seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty, but it is far greater than just a positive outlook. Our world is based on choice. We can choose to see a life of challenges and adversity, or we can choose to see a life full of opportunities at every turn.
Author and businessman, Napoleon Hill, once said, “Your big opportunity may be where you are right now.” A wise person will make more opportunities than he or she finds- it’s a choice.
This week, make a game out of twisting every lack thought and lack comment into an opportunity thought or statement. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every lack thought, there is an equal and powerful opportunity. Don’t wait for opportunity- create it. Have fun with this and watch how many more opportunities you find!
Jolene Church is a mindfulness practitioner, success coach, and motivational speaker. Her latest book, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset, helps people break down conditioned barriers in our thinking that inhibit our success. www.SuccessfulThinkingMindset.com
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.