Another one written almost 2 years ago.
We are always on a path towards the next opportunity.
We are confused about the nature of opportunity.
From an outside perspective someone else’s opportunity appears to be lucky.
That’s where our problems start.
We live in a backwards society that can push a lottery jackpot into the billions but we can’t get ourselves out of credit card debt. We sit passively with our fingers crossed waiting for something to come along and save us.
We’ve been conditioned to chase easy and wait for luck to strike…and it’s killing us because the truth is we are the only ones that can save ourselves.
Challenging ourselves and being intentional is the opportunity we seek. Opportunity is not random.
Opportunity is not something that happens to you.
Opportunities are abundant for each of us if we put ourselves in a position to create them.
Opportunities grow as we do.
The key to creating your opportunity is to become intentional. We are conditioned to passively go through the motions in life. It’s how society’s framework has been set up for us and it keeps us where we are. We go to work and we do a half-assed job while we bitch about it to each other. We never move past the bitching to determine whether or not there is a solution.
The solution is to become intentional with what we want. Instead of just dreaming about it we must determine the actions to take and the people to become so that we get the things that we want from life.
What we do with our current situation determines the opportunities that will be presented to us in the future. You don’t need to love your job to do it well, and if you don’t give it your best then you’ll likely do it forever.
We must relentlessly go to work and take action every day for the rest of our lives.
Success, happiness and opportunities are not destinations that we land in and then put our feet up because we ‘made it.’ We never make it.
"As you follow your dream, it gets bigger." — John C. Maxwell
Like you, this is how I spent much of my life, thinking that it just happens to me. This is my ‘lot’ in life. I passively moved through my schooling and into my career without spending any time thinking about it. Day after day just going through the motions and taking what came. Most of us do this.
The reality is that your opportunity only shows up when you’ve earned it. Not a moment sooner. In fact, it can’t show up any sooner because if you’re not ready, then it’s not your opportunity.
I spent a decade of my life doing uninspiring work at my corporate job until I finally hit a wall. I’d been suppressing my dissatisfaction. I had almost left numerous times but the opportunities were never any better than my current situation. I wasn’t progressing and my situation was simply perpetuating itself from one year to the next. I figured that’s just how it goes. We get paid for shit we don’t enjoy so that we can spend it on things we do.
Then I got fed up. Instead of looking at successful people with envy I began to study them. How are they actually different from me? This began to change how I felt about life and opportunity. I started reading everything I could get my hands on. One book led to another and my perspective changed. I realized that people who are successful and fulfilled didn’t have something I don’t…they just earned things that I hadn’t.
Prior to starting my ‘career’ I had always taken great pride in my work ethic, my ability to improve and in being a leader. I had always strived to be the best at the things I did. I don’t know where that was lost over the course of those years but I decided that if I was going to stay with my company then I was going to lead and I was going to win.
I went to work on myself first. I needed to improve my mindset so that I could improve my approach. By taking real responsibility for myself I was then able to influence others. It was then that I was able to earn a promotion.
This promotion led to a new job that was complete hell for three years. The money was better but the work was harder. I was managing a high volume operation and a large team with many problems that needed fixing.
Fortunately, my improved perspective helped me operate with gratitude. I was grateful that no one had solved these problems before me. I was grateful that I had the opportunity to prove myself. So I went to work.
The first year I learned what needed to be done. The second year I solved the problems. The third year I got paid like a motherfucker and we won. Then, at the start of year 4...I quit.
I quit for the OPPORTUNITY OF MY LIFETIME. My opportunity had not come sooner because I was not ready for it.
By taking control of myself and my life I developed into someone completely different over that 3 year timeframe. Had I not become self-aware about the fact that I was not living the life that I wanted then I would not have made the changes that I needed to make. I would not have taken the responsibility to become someone that was willing and able to seize the opportunity.
Nothing would have changed.
To those on the outside it appears that my new opportunity fell into my lap. That I won the opportunity lottery and was saved from spending the rest of my life in the corporate grind.
The reality is that my preparation, my growth, my relationships, and my mind provided me with a chance. Without any one of those puzzle pieces I would never have been provided a chance. Now, I just had to take it.
I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I’m not successful, but I will be.
Everyday is another step forward.
I’m strapped for both time and money, I’m stressed, I work incredibly hard, and I battle my brain every single day to prevent myself from quitting.
Chasing your dreams and your passions isn’t any easier than living passively, it’s actually much harder…but it’s more rewarding and fulfilling. It’s easy to focus on the process and the day to day when you love the path you’re on and the people you’re on it with.
I’m encouraged and excited.
I’m energized by the opportunity.
I’m inspired to set an example.
I’m confident that I have the ability to grow into whoever I need to become to get wherever I want to go.
It’s mine to take or leave. I’m in control now.
I don’t share my story with you to boast. I do it because I was inspired by something that I read years ago. It was a catalyst to read more and to open my mind. To seek change and growth which has become a habit that’s completely altered the course of my life.
It is up to each of us to get our mind right.
It’s up to each of us to understand that life is not happening to us, we are happening to it.
The precursor on everything I tell myself and therefore everything I tell you comes down to happiness and fulfillment.
My words are not meant for someone who is happy and fulfilled.
If that’s you, then you get it.
Keep it up.
My challenging words are for those of you who are not happy or fulfilled.
You are frustrated because you know you’re not inspired with your life.
You have not realized a real opportunity.
I promise, if you’ll be honest with yourself and start making real change to your perspective then a world of opportunity will present itself to you.
Now hurry up, time is running out.
Focus + Fortitude