There are certain things in life that we regret not taking full appreciation of. Every one—I daresay even the shrewdest, most cunning business executive who all his life has been on the lookout for every single window of opportunity for putting his company on top—has at least once let a really important opportunity slip out of his hands. Why is this so? It’s probably because we humans really just aren’t very adept at recognizing opportunities until they’re gone forever, never to be realized. In other words, we are unable to take advantage of all opportunities presented to us because we procrastinate and put things off until the very last minute. This is a viable explanation, but is by no means the only reason why opportunities are not taken in. It could also be that real opportunities are simply hard to come by. The truth of the matter is, opportunities are rare and almost always come in the worst of times. Distractions in our lives prevent us from judiciously identifying opportunities as they come and so it is important that we learn “techniques” on how to spot, in timely manner, opportunities—that is, seizing an opportunity, before it’s too late.
TIP # 1: Get out of your comfort zone.
Our comfort zones are called such for an obvious reason: they are comfortable. We are satisfied with where we currently are and do not in the least wish to improve our lives for the better. To be sure, there is nothing wrong with being comfortable or satisfied. But constant growth and experience should be a goal of every individual, lest his life would become monotonous and boring. We should actively seek to add spice to our lives. Doing so allows us to access our “sixth sense”—that imaginary organ we use for identifying opportunities.
TIP # 2: Learn to say yes.
This tip is related to the one before it. When we’re too comfortable with how things are going, we’re reluctant to say yes to opportunities that can add value to our lives. But to be successful and achieve anything of significance in life, we have to grow accustomed to trying new things and saying yes to enriching opportunities. Of course, saying yes to every opportunity available is probably not a good idea, as it could burn you out, but occasionally seeking new things wouldn’t hurt.
TIP # 3: Think.
While some opportunities are very easy to spot, most good opportunities are realized only if thought about. Less obvious opportunities are generally the ones that pay the highest payoff because of the advantage of novelty. Actively seeking opportunities, instead of waiting for an evident one to materialize, should be the way to go about achieving good things.
TIP # 4: Wonder.
Wondering and being curious in general makes us better “grabbers” of opportunities. Curious people seize opportunities because they value new experiences and are ready facing challenges that will lead to their growth as persons. They actively seek novelty and fresh ideas in their lives and are comfortable treading out of their comfort zones. Without much effort, they fulfill what tips 1 -3 espouse simply by living a dynamic lifestyle that isn’t limited by anything.
TIP # 5: Carpe Diem
Carpe diem is Latin for “seize the day”, which some people interpret as indulging in all sorts of damaging stuff like drinking or partying too hard. This interpretation is wide off the mark. Carpe diem is an adage telling us to seize all opportunities presented to us—doing productive things, not wasting our time in trifles. Spotting opportunities is pointless if you don’t do anything about it.