Some goals are straightforward. You make a plan and smoothly sail from A to Z. Others require vigilance to spot opportunities and boldness to take action on them before they vaporize. Usually, people miss opportunities because they are unaware of them or they’re not trained to spot them. Sometimes opportunities are cleverly disguised as problems so start by changing your attitude about problems. Are they really problems, or lessons? Challenges are designed to make you grow and learn! That shift in mindset transforms problems from something that frustrating and paralyzing to something energizing and motivating.
People often wait for “the right time” to take advantage of opportunities. By then, it’s too late. The truth is, there’s never a perfect time. The best time to take advantage of opportunities is immediately. Don’t be scared away when you have no earthly clue what to do next! Take the step, keep your eye on the goal – the ways to achieve what you want will present themselves. Here’s how to spot opportunities and make the most of them: 1. No matter what your goal is, you need people to provide the solutions, skills, information, knowledge and answers you need. Work on your relationships; expand your circle; become a people person even if you’re shy. Support others and they will support you, or point you in the direction of people who will support you. Seek out the out-of-the-box thinkers, the creative types who don’t take no for an answer. Avoid the naysayers. 2. Have the right mindset. Be open, curious, playful, confident, optimistic, and never give up. Be grateful for every challenge and lesson. Own your success AND your setbacks. Successful people don’t blame anyone for their success or their “failures” and they do not make excuses. 3. You must be crystal clear on what you want to accomplish in the first place. This is the only way you’re going to prime your brain to start looking for the opportunities to make it happen! 4. When you think about your goal, do you listen to the voices that say “you can’t”? What do YOU believe? Do you believe you can or can’t achieve this? Do you believe you are or aren’t good enough? Do you believe you can or can’t be in the right place at the right time for the right opportunity? If you believe you can, you will. If you believe you can’t, you won’t. Identify limiting beliefs by listening to yourself as you rationalize why you can’t do something. Ask yourself, “WHY do I believe this? Is this true? What facts support this belief?” Dig down to the bottom of that belief and expose it for the delusion it is! Many limiting beliefs are learned from parents, teachers, etc. and we believe them only because we didn’t know we had a choice in the matter. Well, now you know. You can choose to believe something – or not. 5. Always be aware and vigilant. Be open to new ideas. Don’t make judgments about ideas you come across just because they’re different than anything you’ve done before. Keep an open mind – be curious about new perspectives and alternative ways of doing things. 6. Question everything. “What is interesting about this new development? What can I learn? Whom could I help? What benefit will I get from this?” These questions imprint the importance of your goal on your mind. The more important it is to you, the more your mind will seek it. 7. Embrace the “problems” – find the value, the lesson and the benefit in every single problem you have, and <poof> like magic, your problems will transform into wonderful opportunities! 8. If you notice anything out of the ordinary in your life, pounce on it like a tiger. Seize it. It came into your awareness for a reason, even if you don’t know why. Write down what you noticed and your thoughts and emotions. If you go back later and read what you wrote, you will be astounded at the wealth of guidance or insight you received. Carry a notebook with you everywhere, or use a note-taking app on your phone or iPad. DO NOT LOSE those clues. 9. Keep learning. Keep expanding your knowledge and skills. Embrace the new and unexpected. Get OUT of your comfort zone. Take calculated risks – and sometimes the “foolish” ones. Avoid comfort; seek the unknown. Don’t follow the herd, make your own path. 10. Are all opportunities the goose that laid the golden egg? No. Some just don’t work out – but even there, the lessons you learned are more valuable than the perceived setback. 11. Don’t discount the little opportunities while you sit back and wait for the big one. 12. Don’t let fear of rejection, failure or uncertainty stop you. Most of us face some level of rejection, failure and uncertainty on a daily basis. It’s no different “out there.” Except that this time, you’re going for what YOU want. 13. Think big. 14. Every opportunity is time-sensitive to some degree. Even the ones that “can wait” won’t wait for long. Make a plan and take action right away. 15. Listen to your intuition. Take advantage of opportunities; they are the wonderful “unexpected” ways that your grandest goals will be achieved! Inspired by a blog by Adam Sicinski at iqmatrix.com