365 Things to Look Forward to — Number 28: Opportunities

28. Opportunities

I think anyone who sees an opportunity and doesn’t take it is a fool. Or a coward. Or both. Or maybe just too cautious–but why?

We are surrounded by opportunities to do so many things, learn so many things, yet most of us ignore those opportunities and chug away at their usual lives, never knowing the thrill of seeing, doing, learning, touching, feeling, hearing, tasting, trying something new.

Understandably, there are some opportunities most of us would rather pass up…for instance, the opportunity to savour toasted or fried or chocolate-coated insects. Even I draw the line there. And most certainly, anything that is breathing, wriggling, or otherwise alive will not ever be part of my diet. Not consciously, at least, and certainly not willingly.

I’m referring more to opportunities that offer major changes in life, particularly in the aspect of work.

All my life before now, most job opportunities were presented to me, or offered to me, so I never really actively searched for work. Every time someone offered a chance for me to do something or work at something, I’d take it. In fact, it’s how I’ve pretty much determined what direction to take since I accepted a college scholarship. I rarely ever thought twice, and as a result, I have experienced a vast variety of jobs with endless career opportunities. I have acquired an impressive array of skills that I have used repeatedly in a plethora of occasions. I have accumulated a staggering volume of knowledge that I am able to recall or apply, almost at will, or at the oddest or most unusual moments. Never mind that I might not even get to use it all again–or maybe, I just will.

My point is we will always have millions of opportunities open to us. Many people complain that they don’t have any because they fail to see that the opportunities are just lying there. They don’t always jump at you and they aren’t always pointed out to you. Most of the time, you just have to open your eyes and look for them, and they are there for the taking.

If an opportunity requires an expense that you are not ready or willing to commit to, then that opportunity probably isn’t for you, or it isn’t time for that.

I’m not saying all opportunities will result in something good—besides a lesson learned. Many opportunities will lead to negative or undesirable results. It is these opportunities that we must learn to avoid and ignore, or that we must learn to quash and quell.

As I look back on my years since I left the relative safety of high school corridors, I marvel at how boldly I took those opportunities in hand and wonder at how well I had thrived with very minimal damage. I looked at major changes in work conditions that I did not agree with as a sign that it was time to move on.

I look back at the last few years of my life and even if major changes have occurred, I can just finally tell myself that it is now time to move on. Time to grab new opportunities with the hope that one of them will be my dominant undertaking for a while.

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