Creating a Life of Opportunity
Life without opportunities is dull and unfulfilling. Lost opportunities discourage; lack of opportunities defeat.
We’ve all heard people wishing they had more opportunities. This happens for two reasons.
- Comparing our opportunities with others makes us want what others have. Envy and greed are, however, partners with emptiness and frustration.
- Wrong-headed thinking about opportunities. Opportunities are not primarily about getting.
Getting is the result of opportunity
not the opportunity itself.
Opportunities are your chance to add value before receiving benefit.
You have more opportunities than you can imagine because opportunities are about giving. The more value you add, the greater the opportunity.
Dark, greedy selfishness lurks in my heart, alongside generosity. I worry about giving too much and what I’ll get in return. I have two responses to my darkness.
- Be generous anyway. I call it acting otherwise.
- Experience shows the richness of adding value exceeds the narrowness of greed and envy.
The simple act of giving results in richness.
Adding value creates opportunity.
Create a life of opportunity by thinking first of what you give rather than what you get. Worry less about getting and more about adding value.
Be generous and see what happens.
Books that will help you build a life of opportunity.
Go Givers by Bob Burg
Leadership is Dead by Jeremie Kubicek
QBQ! The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller
All Hands on Deck by Joe Tye
How can individuals create a life of opportunity?
What resources or support can you add to my short list?
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I never thought about opportunity like this. Thanks for sharing!
This is fantastic! My favorite thought is this: “Opportunities are your chance to add value before receiving benefit.” I never thought of it that way. It is all very Biblical. Serve first, THEN be great in the Kingdom. I shared this one on my facebook – great post!!
Opportunities arise from a heart with passion. Passion leads to visualisations and opening of new doors.
Opportunities arise when you confront your fears and leave your ego behind.
Opportunities arise when you network and form a part of a greater consciousness.
My daughter is working at American Eagle this holiday season. They have a motto there and this post reminds me a lot of that motto. It can be interpreted a few different ways – and it goes like this: “Live to give – Love to get”
Hmmm.. I never quite looked at it like this. I am no greedy person. But maybe there are some areas where I could be a little more generous.
Thanks for posting.
I only want to add my opinion to this post because I have experienced a unique situation where there are alternative circumstances.
In some cases, no matter how much you give and give, some people (or organizations) are just not going to recognize it. To me, that was the signal that I needed to look elsewhere for employment, because a job should always be about a two-way connection. The person does not just fit the organization, but the organization must also fit the person.
Conclusion: Yes, keep giving. Just make sure you are giving to organizations that realize your contribution. They deserve you better than organizations that refuse to acknowledge your gifts.
I know someone who works for a law firm, and what you stated about ‘no matter how much you give and give, some people (organizations) are just not going to recognize it’, and that is what is happening there. Not only that, even though the lawyers are making lots of money, they keep cutting staff and piling the work on the ones left behind, with threats of more staff cuts. The staff is so stressed out, and the salaried staff doesn’t get paid for overtime. PLUS, they have hired more lawyers (with no additional help because they are cutting staff). Several people, without warning, were laid off the morning they showed up for work, escorted out the door.
As unemployment is still high with not many jobs to find, those still there are functioning out of fear of losing their job and not wanting to quit because there is not much else to look for – and they wouldn’t get unemployment for quitting. I can’t believe mistakes aren’t going to happen to their clients and deadlines aren’t going to get missed. But, what goes around, comes around…how sad.
Recommend Bo’s Cafe by John Lynch to your resource list.
Been working on my 2012 goals this morning and your blog helped clarify my focus to add value and choose generosity. Thank you.
This just makes my day. Really. I woke up this morning thinking about all the ways I want to do my life better in 2012, and you have illuminated, clearly, part of what I want to incorporate more completely.
An additional idea about opportunity that I would share is the concept that if you change your “I have to” to “I get to”…everything becomes an opportunity. I have started to look at most things I get to do in a day as a privilege. I cannot take full credit for that thinking, Bruce Dolin, Psy. D at http://www.privilegeofparenting.com has spawned inspiration in that direction. Along with all the wisdom that I glean here on this blog.
Gotta’ run…opportunity is waiting. 🙂
Two thumbs up for the Go Giver. The Five Laws Of Success are absolutely the foundation for creating a prosperous business and meaningful life!
Another book suggestion along this theme that I just finished reading is “Today We Are Rich” by Tim Sanders. Ch7, what he calls “Principle 4” is called “Give to be Rich” and he goes into examples of what you’re describing in this post Dan. In one story he describes a man who lost his young son in an accident who “deflected pity and chose purpose. He found a way to substitute a smile for a frown. He also gave hundreds of other people the gift of giving too.” An interesting (inspiring) response to a tragic loss in his life. Thanks for the reminder today!
What you have said here capturesy philosophy of teaching, as a 6th grade teacher. “You have more opportunities than you can imagine because opportunities are about giving. The more value you add, the greater the opportunity.”
I take great joy in giving my time
To coaching, fundraising, putting on musical theatre. I have always believed that providing opportunities to kids that they wouldn’t otherwise have is so rewarding. And it most certainly adds value to my life when I
watch their efforts, see their progress, and experience their joy.
Great post! There are other areas in my life where I can’t wait to apply this!! This is so well written.
This is an interesting and challenging concept for the last week of the year, as we look ahead to 2012.
How can individuals create a life of opportunity? This is a bit afield but maybe I can tie it in to the idea. When I had the chance to visit New York City in September, I hoped to do something that is ALWAYS on my list when I visit NYC, attend a Broadway play. To me it almost isn’t a visit to NY w/o a play. I can be pretty creative about budgeting and can often find pretty affordable tickets, but this particular trip fell at a time when the budget was very tight. I learned on Facebook of an experimental reading of a play that an actress I had met while being an extra for FSU Film was involved in. I think there were 12 of us in the audience! The beauty of it was a) I had such an intimately close experience with the actors b) I had an opportunity to give feedback to the writer/director and it meant a lot for my feedback to be valued and c) this play MAY end up on Broadway someday and I’ll be able to say I saw it as a true infant. Whereas not going to a Broadway play really felt like a deprivation, being open to a new/different opportunity, which started way back when I extra’d for a local film school, may have turned in to the best opportunity of all. (If I have piqued anyone’s curiosity, specifics about the play are here: http://www.begonyaplaza.com/izarproductions/2011/12/talk-show.html)
What resources or support can you add to my short list? One of my favorite resources for gaining perspective and understanding how I can create my own “opportunities” is the Wednesday meditation found here: http://www.ijourney.org
And I wondered why I kept getting offers to join WHTA—Wrong Headed Thinkers Anonymous 😉 Maybe that is at the core of this Dan, if what you are doing is from your head and not your heart or spirit, think again.
Love MMF’s point of ‘get to’ v. ‘have to’…great reframe.
Might also consider in the giving queue needs to be you too, perhaps not first, perhaps not last, but you deserve it too, so no exclusionary martyr stuff.
Love the song by the New Radicals, might fit here…”You get what you give”
Great post. Eloquent, and succinct. Thank you!
Very nice post. Always good to be reminded that this is always the best : .Be generous anyway.
excellent post, Dan
Great post–a perfect way to finish the year.
Dan, thank you so much!! What a great honor to have “The Go-Giver” listed amongst the terrific books by Jeremie, John and Joe. I hope you are continuing to feel better and better. Thank you for continuing to share your wisdom with us daily despite the pain I’m sure you are continuing to go through.
I love this post. What a great concept. I have found myself asking about what opportunties I have not gotten. Never have I thought so much about the opportunities we have gotten! Great stuff!
This is a great post and a fantastic way to end the year, Thank you for everthing you have taught me and hope you continue to improve. “Be generous and see what happens!” How timely and at the same time complex.
Generosity does not always come adorned in our favorite and preferred wrapping paper nor with anticipated trimmings and the right colored bow nevertheless it is a gift and its physicality is nothing more than a speck of dust compared to the transcendental love and compassion it is meant to convey.
The act of magnanimity belongs to neither giver or recipient. It is a bridge that connects and binds two souls seraching to make each other content in the mutual knowlege, respect, and spirituality of their respective vulnerabilities.
Happy New Year Dan…………..Best Al
Giving and oppurtunities require a leap of faith and that the reward you receive may come back to you indirectly. The giving itself is the reward. Dan, I recognize that darkside too. Does my gift really matter? Will it be wasted? I give blood to the Red Cross yet often think if the place was taken over by vampires they would drain me dry. Who thinks like this? Still, best not to give blood at night.
Thank you for the gift of this blog it gets me going each day in the right frame of mind and we all pass it on in ways you can’t imagine.
Happy New Year!
total agree with you!
Words to live by.
I really like the concept of being generous !
firstly I was sceptical about whether or not start with a reading of your blog. After this post I see that I would have miss a lot if not.
I like your concept about what an opportunity is. I am just confused, because it seems that all people are just fighting for their own goods and if you will give you will stay behind, small and not – recognized.
However, I think it is worth fighting for this value, that giving itself is a big opportunity that can open you worlds you never knew about them.
‘Comparing our opportunities with others makes us want what others have. Envy and greed are, however, partners with emptiness and frustration. ‘
And this is so true, I find myself doing this too often. I will put some effort to stop it.
This is superb post. Each sentence is powerful and instills a sense of passion, courage and direction. I strongly support and believe that ” Envy and greed are partners with emptiness and frustration. I also agree that we should create a life of opportunity by thinking first of what we can give rather than what we get. Giving have more value than expecting to get.
I believe that individuals can create a life of opportunity by adding values and sacrificing short term benefits. When we want to get everything that comes in our way, somewhere we drift apart from our focus. Holistic view needs one to see big picture. I have seen people missing their goal when they don’t overcome of their envy and greed of achieving everything. It means, we have to clearly define what we can sacrifice and compromise to achieve our goal. I think, that mindset determines our path.
How can individuals create a life of opportunity?
Learning by doing i guess..
What resources or support can you add to my short list?
The resources from others people experiences that already success maybe..
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