Opportunity does not knock.

Opportunity does not call, nor beckon or even give a friendly wink and a come-hither smile.

Nope, Opportunity is just there. It’s everywhere and it just sits there. It’s just a matter of whether you notice it or not. Cuz Opportunity is not going to try to get your attention. Although it can be hidden by other things, Opportunity itself never tries to hide.

Opportunity is a noun without a verb. It’s like a basketball. A basketball can be used to perform amazing feats at breakneck speed with high degrees of skill, athleticism and asceticism but by itself is incapable of doing anything at all. Even just to roll down a hill, it’s subject and slave to gravity, which has nothing to do with anything the basketball actively does. Opportunity might be said to be subject to its own type of gravitational influence as well, given that some opportunities can be restrained by means artificial or not and therefore would do their own version of “rolling down the hill.”

With Opportunity, it’s up to you to cozy up to her and make the introduction yourself. Opportunity is always there, waiting to be discovered; it’s not something created by design. Rather it’s accessed through either luck, hard work, selective but not so hard work, or the realization that Opportunity is most often revealed through a combination of mere activity and willful insight.

In other words: be there and be aware.


Opportunities aren’t created, but noticed, making access easier


Further, no matter how hard you try, you will never, ever create an opportunity. Neither will I. Nor will anybody.

The fun fact about opportunity is that it is simply there. Were it the least bit massive, that is if opportunity existed as something physical, no matter how small a particle it might be, there would be no room in the universe for anything else.  (Of course, sometimes opportunity is not there, such as the opportunity to build a cellphone before the discovery of electricity. But why would we talk about that? Wouldn’t that be like discussing hockey in a book about equestrian jumping? Mind you, I’m sure you could make – I mean find – an opportunity to do so.)

In case I’ve been too casual with my tone to this point, let me state that this is all about optimism. I’m optimistic that since opportunities aren’t created, but rather noticed, accessing them should be much easier than the other way around. Think about it: imagine if you really did have to create opportunities. How would you?

Let’s take the example of a trip to Spain. (Or Iceland, if you’re already in Spain.) In order to enjoy the month of February (the other months are too expensive, given the extra days) at your destination, you book holidays from your regular life. You might believe that you created the opportunity to go to Spain without losing your job by requesting the appropriate holiday considerations.

In fact, the opportunity existed and you saw it.

How could you create the opportunity to travel to Spain? Or Iceland? You would have to create knowledge of the existence of Spain. Or Iceland. You would have to create a mode of transport. You would have to create a method of currency exchange. Your opportunity to travel to Iceland (or Spain) was a natural creation: the end result of many interactions, each of which led to further opportunities, of which one of the favourable outcomes is your opportunity to travel to your preferred destination. It’s up to you to recognize the opportunity and choose to act upon it (book your holidays).

In the end, you did not have to manufacture any opportunities at all; they already. You simply noticed this one and acted upon it. (Of course, there were endless other opportunities that you didn’t choose, such as February in Flin Flon, Manitoba.)


Opportunity is there for the taking, not the asking


Imagine that you’re at the till paying for a nose-hair trimming kit and the change you expect is fifteen dollars but the clerk hands you a twenty and a five. You have multiple opportunities here. For example, you could cheerily point out the error and exchange the twenty for the proper ten and feel properly righteous about yourself. Or you could remain silent and profit by ten dollars. Further yet, you could burn ten dollars in front of the clerk, inform him of his careless loss, declare that you refuse to profit in such manner and explain that you intend this as an object lesson for him with the added bonus of insight into the marvellous mentor-at-large that you are.

What it all comes down to is that Opportunity is there for the taking.

But don’t wait for the knock.