In recounting stories of their success, people often say that one opportunity changed the trajectory of their life. We hear it all the time: on awards shows, after sporting events, during graduation speeches. Someone, at some point, was presented with an opportunity, and they ran with it to achieve great success.
What we tend to hear about less often, though, is what that person did to be ready when opportunity came around, as well as what they did to draw that opportunity to them.
It would be next to impossible to provide a comprehensive list of things to do to prepare for opportunity in a single blog post. However, we may start a discussion about the kinds of thinking and attitudes that help us be in a better position to recognize and embrace opportunity in all its forms. To help us with that, here are four questions to consider when looking for our next great opportunity.
Am I fully focused on today?
Sometimes, we miss opportunities because we are stuck in a memory or way of thinking from our past. While learning from our past accomplishments and mistakes is a good thing, living in that past, good or bad, will distract us from opportunities today. Whether we’re stuck in guilt or fear, or we’re living off former glory, we are not focused on how we could be a better version of ourselves today.
However, when we are 100 percent “all-in” engaged with “now” we are able to invest the most of ourselves in every meeting, every conversation, every idea and every opportunity.
Am I taking responsibility for me today?
Taking responsibility for today involves a lot of different awarenesses, including:
“Am I being fully authentic and walking in integrity today?”
“Am I taking care of me?”
“Am I doing something to grow today?”
“Do I know what people around me need?”
“How am I meeting my needs and the needs of others?”
Considering these questions on a daily basis helps us stay focused, stay balanced and stay engaged in what makes us better, as well as what makes us better resources for others. When we bump up against a “no” as the honest answer to any of these questions, it creates an opportunity to grow.
What beliefs am I filtering my leadership through?
Too many times we are not seeing clearly, because we are looking at things through past mistakes, unfulfilled expectations, our assumptions, fears or our pride. When we choose to step back, set aside those versions of ourselves and others and take an open look at where we are, we will have a much clearer perspective on the environment our leadership is creating as well as the opportunities around us.
Where is my focus today?
What we’re focused on is just as important as staying focused. Are we investing our time on the people and things that are bringing out better versions of ourselves, and are we focused on people and things that help other people be their best? Or, are we distracted by beeping texts, ringing phones, social media trivia and the general noise of life? It’s difficult to be our best, for ourselves and others, when our focus is distracted or diminished.
These days, it’s certainly easy to feel that distraction and lose that focus. There are so many things vying for our time and attention. Yet, when we’re intentional about maintaining our focus, helping ourselves and our teams grow, that’s where we find solutions and opportunities.
What do you think? Did these questions resonate with you? Are there any other questions you’ve asked that have helped you embrace opportunity in your own life? Share in the comments below.
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