Are You an OPPORTUNIST? How to Identify, Seize or Create Opportunities for Yourself

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As I wrap one week and start projecting the next, I always stop to think about opportunities. What happened during the course of that period of time? What opportunities were available to me and how well did I utilize them? Today I am inspired by the words of Orison Swett Marden who said “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”

These words truly inspire me. As a coach I see people who come wanting more from life. They don’t know what, but they know that there must be more to life than what they are experiencing. I believe that with all the hustle and bustle of today’s busy lives, many of us just move from day to day in what I call auto-pilot. Perhaps a self-preservation strategy, nonetheless one that if assumed for too long has the risk of turning life into a meaningless, routine trip.

Instead, my call today is for those that want to become OPPORTUNISTS! Granted, the word opportunist tends to get a bad rep. Among several interpretations, the dictionary defines it as “a person who adapts his actions, responses, etc to take advantage of opportunities, circumstances, and so on.” Hence my question is What is Wrong with That? I want to be able to take advantage of each and every opportunity that comes my way! In fact, I want to make sure I notice every opportunity that I come in contact with and further, I want to be capable not only to seize those premium chances that life brings along, I want to create the ones that will best suit my intentions, goals and expectations.

Now, I am not talking about doing things in an unethical way (thus the bad rep.) Nor acting in a way that goes against one’s values or in detriment of another just for the sake of obtaining a benefit.

My vision of progress has always been that there is plenty of resources out there for everyone. Even during tough economic conditions, there are jobs and there is money. I agree that the dynamics have changed, but this is just a sign that we must change too. If we take each situation and we look at it from a positive angle, we can always see something good. There is always a lesson to be learned. A message that if embraced, will make us stronger, better, more courageous, more determined. I want you to be an opportunist for yourself, for your family and for the organization you work for or charities you represent.

Dropping the negative connotation of the word, how can we become Opportunists?

1. Be assertive. Nothing wrong with knowing what you want, and going for it.

2. Be proactive. Be on the lookout for new and improved ways to do things.

3. Be prepared. Nothing like being faced with an opportunity but not prepared to take it. If you know what you want and you are ready for it, you will be in better position to grab it when it comes your way.

4. Be connected. Expand your circle of influence and stay in touch with your connections. You never know where the opportunity will come from.

5. Be aware. Know yourself and your situation. Be perfectly comfortable with your circumstances and be particularly confident about your strengths; these are the ones you want to capitalize on.

6. Be confident. Believing in yourself is the number 1 criteria to make things happen. Remember that you can do, learn, or delegate just about anything.

Becoming more of an opportunist can definitely change your perception and realization of life. Tony Robbins (my fave) says that “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” That is what I truly wish for you. The ability and the motivation to become more. To do more. To love more. To enjoy more.

And you can! When you face life with the ‘half-full’ mentality, when you notice that every experience offers a valuable lesson, when you recognize that the world is not out to get you…you can. Furthermore, becoming an opportunist enables you to take charge of your life by being in choice. Isn’t it time that you make choices and decisions that are in line with your values? How about doing things because they support your quest to excellence, peace, wellness and prosperity? Be the opportunist that is out there connecting, creating, realizing and serving. Knock-knock… who’s there?

If you are having difficulties identifying opportunities, if you are uncertain as to go about and make the most out of your life, if you are uncertain as to how to fill the void in your life because you know that there is more to it; Personal Development Coaching might be what you need. Call or email me today for a complimentary, 30- minute consultation.

© 2010 Maria Martinez