Monday, March 8, 2010

Chance favors the prepared mind.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Hurry up and wait!"? It is a funny little saying, but in the world of business, it actually has weight. This is also where a great many people get defeated when they enter the business world. People, in general, have a bad habit of waiting for the right opportunity and then act once it arrives. This is much like trying to get onto a moving train from a stand still.

Here is what seems to typically happen to people. They wait for opportunity to knock. When it does, they attempt to ceize the moment and grab onto the opportunity with all their might. However, this fails many times because the people grabbing onto the opportunity were not prepared for that opportunity. Now, here is what makes it worse. If those people don't realize that it is a lack of preparedness, they tend to think that the opportunity really wasn't for them. Then it's not long before every opportunity loses it's luster and appeal and the attempts are soon stopped.

NOTE: These are my opinions, by the way, based on things I have studied and observed.

The good news is, it is easy not to fall into this trap. If you hurry up and wait... in other words.... if you prepare yourself for the opportunity that is to come, then when it arrives, your grip on the opportunity will be much stronger and your chances at success will be much higher.

Of course, this is easier said than done, but not by too much.... not if you really want to be successful. It takes a bit of determination and in some cases a pretty good amount of patience. It can be a bit disconerting when you work hard to be ready, but the opportunity doesn't seem to come your way. You might be wondering, how does one survive the delay of an opportunity that may never come?

One way is to diversify your interests. I say this with a big "IF POSSIBLE" in mind. Some people are just one tracked and that is it. For those people, I'm not sure what to offer. This could explain why you rarely run into a successful one tracked mind person; or so it seems. At any rate, by diversifying your interests, you position yourself to take advantage of multiple opportunities. You, of course, have to take into account how much effort you have to expend and how diversely that effort is being spread. If you spread too thin, you may not be able to catch any of the opportunities that come your way. I think this is a balance that is learned mostly through trial and error. As you grow as a person, you may find that you can muster up more effort for more things or more focus on a few things. I tend to think that this is one of those cases where we are all like snowflakes and no two people will handle things quite the same way. If you keep an eye on successful people, you will notice some resounding traits. You will find the same things when studying the writings of successful people and if at all possible, get to know some successful people personally. Remember, they put their pants on the same way you do. They may be really expensive pants, but it is still one leg at a time.

Another way to survive a long awaited opportunity is to sharpen your preparation of that opportunity. The best way to do this is to blend it into your life in some significant way. For example, if you are waiting for an opportunity that involves a main skill or skills, get a job or get into a career that will require you to make use and build up those skills. In this way, you are falling back on working for the man while you wait for your chance to be the man. This may work for some and not for others and also may be based on the opportunity itself. There are many worthwhile opportunities that require very little skill.

I'm sorry to speak in such vague terms, but I can feel this blog entry growing as I type...

Yet, another way is to turn your waiting time into an opportunity to enjoy the things in life that can't easily be enjoyed while you are clammering towards your prepared state or while in the throws of the opportunity itself. For every big opportunity, there seems to be a period where one almost has to lose one's self for a while until the rough and rocky start of the road to success slowly smooths out. This could be as simple as taking time to soak up your family, do something fun, or anything that brings joy and happiness and peace to your life. There is no sense in being miserable while you wait for your opportunity.

Always, the key is to be ready for when your chance comes along, whatever that chance may be and remember:

"Chance favors the prepared mind." ~ Louis Pasteur ~