When Opportunity Knocks, Will You Be Ready?
Category : General
When Opportunity Knocks, Will You Be Ready?
By Ofonime Essien
While growing up in my small village, Mbiabam Ibiono, Uyo – Nigeria, I flew kite a lot. I used to wave at airplanes flying at 20,000 – 30,000 feet above mean sea level over my village and begged them, “Please, come and take me to London”. Today, children and adults also wave at me and some even flashed touch lights at my aircraft during night flights while in Enugu, Nigeria. One child was lucky to get a free ride during a confined area (off-airport operations) flight training. I can only imagine the impact that flight had on the boy. He was picked by my Flight Instructor from the crowd that had gathered to watch us land at a field in their neighbourhood. The little boy was very excited.
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I used to wonder what kind of human beings Pilots were. I concluded that Pilots were special beings. Little did I know that I had that special gene in me too. I didn’t have the faintest idea that I will one day become a Pilot. When the opportunity to become a Pilot knocked, I received it with open hands. I didn’t pass up the opportunity for lack of money or sponsorship.
Have you passed up opportunities due to lack of money or nobody to help? Have you failed to take advantage of an opportunity because you didn’t have money or nobody to help? Or are you complaining about lack of opportunities? Often, so many people complain about lack of opportunity. They do nothing about it but just sit there.
It was Milton Berle, an American comedian and actor, who said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”. I had built many doors of opportunities in the past before. I always believe in preparing and waiting for opportunities. Many people believe being successful or achieving ones dreams or goals is a matter of being lucky. What they fail to understand is that when opportunity meets preparedness, it becomes luck. That is, Preparedness + Opportunity = Luck. That is a simple success formula for me.
There are millions of people out there that couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity when it knocked, and many others don’t recognize an opportunity when it lands on their laps because they are not prepared. Many opportunities come laced with its own challenges but if you are prepared, you will be able to tackle the challenges and take advantage of numerous opportunities. For those who cannot recognize opportunities, being prepared will open your eyes to countless opportunities and the abilities to leverage them.
How to Prepare for Opportunities
Opportunities do not just plop out of thin air when we aren’t looking. The good news for those of us who are willing to work hard and consistently is that we must be prepared for the opportunity when we see it so that we can pounce.
While the opportunities we continue to gather up may seem small, it is often these small opportunities, capitalized upon again and again, that lead to the grand break we are looking for. Very rarely does a record breaking diamond become unearthed on the first try, but rather after many other small treasures have been discovered along the way.
Here are a few things that you can do right now and continue to do each day to aid in your preparation to be able to seize on the opportunities you wish to find.
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Look for opportunities, seek them out. Open your eyes. Say yes. Do something new. Ask why. Never stop learning.
1. Strengthen your self-discipline muscle. Stop spending frivolously. Put down that second helping. Stop engaging with people who are not good for you or your self-esteem.
2. Continually strive for excellence, not perfection. Never stop learning about the world you live in. Continually try to better understand yourself, your emotions, your job, your passions, your strengths, etc. The answers will come if you keep searching.
3. Simplify and focus. You can’t do everything, but what you choose to focus on can be done well if you let go of those things that aren’t at the top of your priority list.
4. Create specific goals. If you don’t know where you’re going or what you want, your life will never change and you’ll never know what to look for regarding opportunities.
5. Stop blaming or complaining. Energy and time and most importantly the ability to see the opportunity is tossed aside the moment we blame others or complain about something we don’t like or understand.
6. Be productive, create something of value. No matter what you choose to do with your day, so long as it is in alignment with your goals, being productive will inch you one step closer to the opportunities you seek.
Luck isn’t just about being at the right place at the right time, but also about being open to and ready for new opportunities.
Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Opportunity waits for no one. We have to value ourselves enough to create opportunities. The best way to do that is for us to prepare for opportunities. Do not wait for opportunities to come to you, go after them.
- If an opportunity you desire is not happening for you right now, build yourself up by preparing for that opportunity.
- If you have an opportunity upcoming that you are nervous about, use a comfortable environment to help prepare you.
- If you want to be ready to lead an organization, prepare by paying attention to others in a leadership capacity. Note what you like about what they do, then practice it. Also note what you do not like, then take note of what you would do differently.
I became a Pilot because I was prepared to take a chance at it despite the huge financial challenge that came with it. I was prepared mentally, emotionally, medically and otherwise. I took baby steps and trusted the person who gave me the vision to bring it to pass – the Almighty God. When I told a dear friend, Mr. Bobmanuel Desire, about the vision, he said “If actually it is God that gave you the vision, He will make it come to pass”. He did make it come to pass.
When opportunity knocks on your door, always be willing to take a chance, because you never know how perfect it could turn out to be. Opportunity is always knocking. The problem is that most people have the self-doubt station in their head turned up way too loud to hear it.
How sad it will be if opportunity come knocking on your door but you have to keep him waiting while you rummage through drawers and files for the key, undoubtedly, by the time most people have finally located the key, opportunity has long since became impatient and gone on to knock on the door of someone else. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”. Those were the words of Thomas Edison, an American inventor and businessman. Hard work puts you where good luck can find you.
Whitney M. Young Jr., an American Social Reformer, once said, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared”. Prepare and wait, opportunities will surely come!