All of us love golden opportunities as they are either a chance to improve ourselves or something which could benefit us. We all know opportunities don’t come often.
Therefore, we hear people say: “Don’t miss that opportunity”. In other words, when you have opportunities, grab them.
In everyone’s life, there are endless opportunities. However, whether or not we seize them is the key difference.
One common factor which holds us back from achieving success is FEAR (False Expectations Appearing Real). Right before grabbing an opportunity, we predict unforeseen circumstances which may not even happen.
Why should we scare ourselves? We should shed all fear as there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
Another factor is, we set a limit for ourselves when the sky is the limit. Really, the sky is the limit.
As cliché as it sounds, this adage says it all:
You’ll never know how high you can fly until you spread your wings.
Mentally, once you don’t set any barrier, you can be who you want to be.
The dreamer and doer
The difference between a dreamer and a doer is action. A doer is willing to do everything to turn ideas into reality, while the dreamer is not.
Occasionally, it is good to escape from reality and visualise something much greater than what you are capable of doing. However, never stay too long in your dreamland as it will stay just a dream forever.
If you don’t wake up from your dream, you cannot fulfill it.
In a daydreamer’s wildest imagination, he often portrays himself being various things. Yes, they may complete step one remarkably well, but not step two, which is turning dreams
into reality by taking those first small steps.
Sad to say, when you don’t come out from your dreamscape, you miss many opportunities. As time goes by, dreamers can’t progress as they often remain at the stage of “I will fulfil my dreams”.
On the other hand, doers are the ones who seize opportunities. Although clearly aware of the possibility of failure, they are equally aware that everyone else may have the same idea.
Those who achieve success are those who have the courage to try. Doers know that after trying, they will be amazed by where just trying can take them and have no regrets.
I believe that those who make it in life are doers, not dreamers. Although the road to success is not a linear but curvy line, doers have courage and faith in themselves to overcome these obstacles (real or unfounded).
In a nutshell, dreamers look at challenges as barriers while doers often welcome the challenges and find ways to triumph over them.
These are some steps to bring you closer to achieving your dreams:
1. Have a big dream. Dream bigger than what you would normally expect of yourself.
2. Visualise yourself being in the position that you aspire to. For example, what it feels like to be in that position.
3. Jot down your goals on a piece of paper. Never underestimate this small act, as it is part of a plan. If you don’t do so, you may easily forget this thought in your mind.
4. Plan steps that will bring you closer to your vision. For example, steps for a day, month and year.
5. Before the end of each day, remember to ask yourself: “What did I do today to bring myself closer to my dreams?”
With these steps, as time passes by, you will be closer to your dreams. Those who “try”, succeed. Those who only dream, “fail”. Dreams can never materialise unless you do something about it.
Teddy Roosevelt often said there is a wide difference between those who get into the arena, risking big failure and those who sit and watch things happen.
Trying is achieving
For every opportunity, start saying “yes” and you’ll be amazed where it takes you. By taking the first step, half the game is won.
You would be surprised by where you may land after taking the first step as one opportunity leads to another.
Just like any game, there would be winners and losers. Knowing that there’s a probability of failure, it is your courage that moves you forward, no matter how slim the chance. Most importantly, it’s about knowing that you have at least tried.
Every day is another opportunity to start a new chapter. While the weak wait for opportunities, the strong make it happen.
The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure. When things don’t work out, remember Michael Jordan’s wisdom of:
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
At the end of the day, the journey means more than anything else. After going through the whole process, you would realise that achieving your goal may not matter as much.
Every step is certainly a learning experience, so is every opportunity. Hence, why should you miss any opportunity? Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.
At times, things might not turn out the way we want it. Fret not as in the worst case scenario, failure is always the opportunity to start again.
Never forget that a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Taking the extra mile
Working hard doesn’t guarantee success but it improves your chances. This is evident as very successful people typically work very hard, in addition to working smart.
They make more effort and put in longer hours compared with others. Everyone knows that spending longer hours helps but not everyone is willing to do so.
In life, no matter what we do, we have to go the extra mile, and that can mean spending time, energy and money to achieve what we want.
Of course, that is easier said than done, and this includes the willingness to sacrifice leisure time.
The sure way to miss success is to miss opportunity. Opportunity is always knocking. It is whether or not you hear it. Ultimately, we make decisions for ourselves, and making the right one could help us realise our dreams.
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
Cassandra, 18, overcame many obstacles in life. Having tuberculosis (kneecap) at age two and having had to experience a dyslexic’s struggling childhood, made her stronger. Cassandra is truly grateful for all opportunities life has given her. She can be contacted via editor@ leaderonomics.com . Click here for more leadership articles.