What’s the Wait?

So many people wait around endlessly for the perfect opportunity to emerge.  And then, when that big opportunity comes a knockin’, few are prepared to seize it.

There are many things outside of our control, but there’s never a shortage of actions we can take right now so that we’ll be ready to grasp opportunity when it emerges.  In fact, many of us have it backwards.  We wait until we get our shot before truly preparing for it. Not exactly a game plan for success.  Imagine an actor waiting to get a lead movie role before beginning acting lessons.

It’s the often-told tale of the man who has a heart attack before deciding to eat healthy and exercise.  Why do so many of us wait for an external trigger (good or bad) to shove us into action?

If you are not getting the opportunities you want or think you deserve, stop playing the victim card.  A more productive approach is to do those things within your control.  Preparation has a funny way of making opportunities appear.  Suggestions include:

  • Study your desired goal for one hour a day.  There’s no shortage of books, white papers, magazine articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc.  Within a few months, you’ll be an expert.
  • Get in better physical shape.  Even if your goal has nothing to do with athletic performance, you’ll gain increased energy, better stamina, and more confidence.
  • Network like a lunatic.  The adage, “it’s not what you know but who you know” is an oldie but a goodie.  The more relevant people you connect with, the more opportunities that will come your way.
  • Do something radically different.  If everyone else approaches your goal a certain way, try the exact opposite.  Those that forge new ground are the ones that make history.
  • Become an anthropologist.  Get out into the world and immerse yourself in your field of interest.  Learn how the game works from the inside and you’ll discover new entry points in no time.

It’s time to stop stagnating and riding the white horse of hope.  Few things are more powerful than beginning something new with boldness and then persisting at your new habit with machine-like consistency.

One of my favorite Chinese proverbs sums it up: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Our goals are all different – yours could be the ideal job, relationship, college acceptance, promotion, deal, heath breakthrough, or adventure – but the best way to bring them to life is to start working on them as quickly as you can.  Stop waiting for opportunity to knock and start getting ready to pounce when it does.