Really? How hard?
There are two types of ‘opportunities’. The first is what I call the it’s-flippin-starin-at-ya kind of opportunity. I believe that there is opportunity in every environment; it’s just our perspective of the situation. Is there a lack of resources? Great – opportunity to be creative. Is there a lack of manpower? Great – opportunity to step up and be a leader. Is there a need that is not met in the market? Great – opportunity to start a new business or introduce a new product!
The second type of opportunity is the once-in-a-lifetime-grab-it-or-forever-hold-your-peace kind of opportunity. As the name implies, this category of opportunity often comes in the form of a challenge, and is often a launch pad or door to bigger roles, responsibilities and opportunities. But beware; to shine while attempting these opportunities, one needs to be competent at the required skills.
I have always wondered why are some of my friends more fortunate – they earn big bucks, work in extremely exciting and cool companies, get to travel the world and are extremely good at what they do. Whenever I read my friends’ facebook updates or instagram pictures about how life is absolutely amazing because they get to travel the world (New York, London, Brazil, you name it! As long as it’s out of Malaysia and far from Southeast Asia, it’s cool), meet amazing people (can you ever imagine meeting President Obama and shaking his hand?!) and do amazing things (playing keys in Hillsong London!!!), I feel this overwhelming sense of “I suck and my life sucks and life is unfair”.
What I forget is, these friends are privileged enough to be doing what they’re doing because they had the skills in the very first place. They have spent hours working on their skills, and when the opportunity came their way, they seized it and did a stellar job.
What I’m trying to say is: opportunities don’t always appear when we want them to. In times when they have yet to come our way, we need to upgrade our skills and ourselves relentlessly so that when opportunity comes knocking on our doors, we have the capability to not only do a great job, but to outperform as well.
We have to get uncomfortable and pursue excellence in every thing we do. We have to refuse to settle with the status quo and accept that we are just … good enough. No, we have to push the limits and be as good as or better than the competition. We have to maintain a high level of curiosity; “why” and “what if” will be the first few words in our dictionary because it is only through questioning and curiosity one gets to create great results. We have to be patient enough to stay with a problem long enough to find the answer. We have to put in the hours perfecting our skills so that we can be experts at those skills.
We have to realize that there is absolutely no time, because opportunities may be a minute or a step away. And when they come, we have to be good enough to seize them and produce jaw-dropping results.
It is in our nature to desire to be superstars, but how many of us are prepared to be superstars?
So, in short, worry not if opportunities will come; they will certainly come. Instead, worry if we’re good enough to make full use of those opportunities. So for all the opportunities that God has in store for you for your lifetime, how hard are you preparing for them?