Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared. – George S. Clason
The book, initially a series of pamphlets, tell the story of a struggling man in Ancient Babylon. The story is of how one acquires and retains money, and one of the points is about opportunity.
This quote is about confidence, preparation, and action. A fisherman has to know where the fish are, and be prepared at each change of the wind, or opportunity will spurn them.
And that is the point (as well as the example) of the quote. Most opportunities are fleeting. There for a moment, and then gone. If you are unprepared, you will be left staring at it leaves.
Why is confidence important?
Confidence, preparation, and action are keys to availing yourself of them. But most important, in my mind, is the confidence to act. Yes, one must be prepared for the opportunity. And when it presents itself, action must be taken or the chance will be lost. But it starts with confidence.
Nearly everyone has been in the position where something they truly wanted was within their grasp, but they didn’t reach for it. And then the opportunity was gone, as quickly as it had come. Opportunity approached, you hesitated, and you lost. And then there is the regret from failing to act.
And nearly everyone has been in the position where an opportunity was presented, and was acted on in a prudent and decisive manner. Of course, it is up to the person to make sure this is a useful opportunity, but most of us have learned how to tell the useful from the others pretty well by now.
The ingredient which was missing or present in the examples, is confidence or the lack of it. That makes a big difference in whether someone is successful or not. And confidence comes from trying and succeeding, while trepidation comes from trying and failing or from failing to try.
Where can I apply this in my life?
So, we have all tried to take advantage of an opportunity, and we have had a mix of successes and failures. To build confidence, you have to focus on your successes, but you will also recognize what didn’t go well. You will have to learn from what didn’t work, and apply what did work to new situations.
So how does one build confidence? Some of that will depend on your focus. If you focus on your failures, or the chance of failure, will your confidence grow or shrink? Conversely, if you focus on your successes, and your chance for another success, will your confidence grow or shrink?
That doesn’t mean you can ignore those time which didn’t work out as well as you liked. You still have to learn from them. Learn what you didn’t do correctly, and what you should have done. Hindsight tends to be better than our normal way of seeing things, so use that to your advantage.
Another thing which works well is gathering more experience. Find things you want to do, and when such opportunities might come. Pick ones which have fairly small down-sides to them, so if you goof it up, you don’t get too badly hurt. Try it, and learn from that experience, and try again.
However, I wasn’t always that bright. I had a tendency to focus on the negative, rather than on the positive. Nowhere was that more evident than in my dating life. I rarely asked anyone out, and when I did, I had so little experience, that it wasn’t a good sales job.
The worst was when I actually made the decision and planned to ask a girl to a dance at college. I delayed asking as we walked, and before I actually got around to asking her, someone else saw her, butted in, and asked her on the spot. That was about the worst case scenario for me. Ouch!
I focused on that failure for years, and would probably still be in therapy if I was single. But it worked out well for them, as they are happily married with four kids. Sometimes it works out that way. But by focusing on what went wrong, what do you think happened to my confidence. Yep. Not good.
But by changing your focus, you can start to change your willingness to take a chance, and with that, your confidence. Try little things, and learn from them. Repeat as often as you can, until your confidence is at a level where you won’t hesitate when an opportunity presents itself.
You will still have to have done your preparatory work, and you will still have to take action, but with confidence in your corner, acting will be easy, and preparation will be part of your routine. Now you’re ready to try slightly bigger things, and work your way up to whatever the big prize is for you.
Go forth and build your confidence. And be aware, the haughty goddess is always nearby, but you never know when she will come close enough for you to act. Be confident. Be prepared. And seize the opportunity before it passes away from you.
From: Twitter, @tivrfoa
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/…opportunity-is-a-haughty-goddess…
Photo by Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures