Opportunity is created as often as it is discovered. Thomas Jefferson commented on this phenomenon when he said that he believed in luck, and the harder he worked, the luckier he was. The more sustained effort we can muster, the more opportunities that tend to spring from it.
But how do you spot these opportunities that may be right in front of you? Often it is a case of looking at the world from a different perspective, getting out of the well-worn ruts of thinking that we tend to get into as we get older. Just as we fall into certain habits of action, we fall into habits of thought as well. And these habits sometimes act as blinders. It is more difficult to accept new concepts and ideas, especially if they don’t align with what we already believe. We just dismiss them out of hand. This ossification of thought is often just inertia, we don’t want to make the effort to break out of our habits because they have served us well.
But what we fail to take into account is that the world is constantly changing and that our ideas need to change along with it or they risk becoming outdated.
As the great novelist Marcel Proust has remarked, “The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes.”
Here are some ways of recognizing opportunities.
1. Respond to a necessity
Necessity often creates opportunity – after all, it’s a well-known cliché that necessity is the mother of invention. When dire consequences are looming if something is not done about a certain need, it really spurs creativity. It provides an opportunity.
Often we look but we do not see. We are not really paying attention to what is going on around us. We are caught up in our own thoughts and worries. But if you really stop and observe closely what is happening in your surroundings, you may see new opportunities.
3. Take time to contemplate
Sometimes you need to take a step back from the rushing stream of life, to detach yourself a little, so that you can see things from a different point of view. You need to set aside time to just contemplate, to think about your life and work and critique it. Consider what is going well and what is not, what you can change, and where there may be opportunities to do that.
4. Learn from others
How did other successful people spot opportunities that propelled them forward? See what they did and if you can apply their techniques to your own life.
Open to Opportunities?
At Opti, we look beyond the resume and the job description, because making a good hire is about more than just a matching skill set. It’s about personality and culture fit, business perspectives, work ethic, management style, long-term company and career goals and more. We see the big picture. Contact Opti today