10 dependable steps to locate and maximize opportunity

Opportunity has been compared to a missing pearl which everybody is assumed to be looking for.

It has also been likened to a treasure hidden on which all and sundry are looking to lay hold of their hands.

I remember in the early days of GSM in Nigeria, you’d see people climbing all sort of raised platforms or randomly walking around their households or rooms as the case may be purportedly in their search for a strong-enough signal which is forever unstable in all its ways. Of course, it is now a thing of the past substantially.

But is opportunity fluctuating like network’s signal or hidden as treasure so much that we all must labor to identify it and bring it to a profitable use of ourselves and others?

Or is it that we are the one looking elsewhere while it continues to pass us by?

In the event of any of the two, how then can we locate opportunity or make opportunity locates us for our maximal usage?

Before we attempt to answer these questions, let's first of all take a cursory look at these two prominent myths surrounding the subject of opportunity.

1. Opportunity lost is believed can never be regained.

This is a myth because opportunity missed can be recovered depending on the nature and preponderance of the wasted opportunity.

For instance, you cannot tell me as a man that because you missed out on marrying that delectable, well-behaved lady, it automatically translates to a tightly closed door to a similar if not a better opportunity for you? The answer is no.

This is because God has made available a steady supply of alternative women to choose from either by their varying statuses as eligible spinsters or single-again mothers as results of either the death of their spouses or having divorced from their previous marriages.

The same applies to the women folks. Because you were rejected by a man surely isn't the end of the world and shouldn't trouble you so much that the only solution that occurs to you is suicide.

Yes, you might have lost out on the opportunity to marry that person whom in your human estimations you considered special, (in any case, everybody is special perspective is what matters) I can assure you, however, that the door is not irreversibly shut to you to meeting better people if only you will not only be diligent in your quest the next time around but be ready to take your chances.

2. Or alternatively, many people even belief opportunity comes but once.

This is another fallacy, a myth. I can tell you for free that opportunity comes to all not just once but the second, third, and even the fourth time provided your belief or faith has not gone on a long holiday.

Again, I'm strongly convinced that many people sometimes missed out on a great opportunity, not due to any faults of theirs. Life just happens to them which they cannot help.

It could be due to the dark forces are at work in their life. It could also be due to being careless.

Therefore, are we to conclusively say that a force far more superior to the ones messing up their life cannot and should not step in and restores order? The answer again is no.

Let’s go back to the questions I asked earlier on.

Opportunity is neither fluctuating nor hidden. It’s just what it is - a free-roaming spirit of possibility waiting to be activated- which avails itself much to those who look earnestly forward to it.

Like money, it is mostly an unscheduled visitor. Its favor can also be curried. If it pays you a visit, make the most of its stays. In other words, it is advisable you make it visits as ensconced as possible so it’s tempted to make it stay a permanent one.  

Therefore, the second scenario is most likely that we’re possibly the ones not paying enough attention to details. Devil, remember, they use to say is in the details.

So literally speaking, opportunity passes most of us by because we sometimes get distracted by the diversionary side attractions to life which competes with our attention.

And we must as a duty learn to shout-out-loud at our own drowning or floundering attention to focus more on weightier matters of life.

Distinguishing between opportunity contenders and pretenders

For example, just as there are contenders and pretenders in the race for the coveted diadem in all the football leagues around the world by reason for better or poor preparation in terms of recruitments of new players who can bring something different to the team and keeping the core of the team which have been together for some time play an important role.

By so doing, it is either the respective team consolidates on the successes of the preceding seasons or they allow them to fritter away. In sports generally, the availability of the required financial wherewithal plays a vital role in teams’ successes.

Similarly, opportunity contenders may well have a better preparation ahead of time in term of training, experience, connections, awareness, and exposures which the pretenders, unluckily, may not have or might have papered over in the course of time may be believing in error that things just happen by chance. Hasn’t success been aptly described as opportunity meets preparations?

Even in the culturing process of crops, growth doesn’t just happen naturally all the time. Conscious and deliberate efforts are required of the farmers to ensure the crops in their fields grow well in their natural environment or a simulated one in order to achieve better yields and improved profitability. Sometimes, it takes the sampling of improved crop varieties.

How then can we locate opportunity and as well maximize it?

There is a popular Yoruba saying: the ears of the king at home and abroad, that’s what the people are.

The king obviously cannot be everywhere at the same time. So, it is - the ordinary citizens and the people to whom he has delegated powers - that form his first line of getting firsthand dependable information about what’s going on that would aid his effective and efficient rule of the realm. The same applies to each and every one of us.

The essence of that is that the people are the opportunity and the opportunity is the people.

Let me briefly illustrate the point I’m making here with a bible story of the widow at Zarephath of Zidon whose husband died living her with debt. 1 King 17 vs. 8-16.

The debt was so much that the receiver’s managers are determined to take her only son which is most likely the collateral for the loan away from her. And what did she do?

Prophet Elijah paid her a visit on the instruction of God and had to prepare a meal of cake to entertain him in obedience to his word ‘out of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar’ that was left in the house. 

When he was done, he asks her to gather all the empty jars in her households as well as even going to borrow from the neighbors.  And the prophet pronounced a blessing on her. 1 King 17 vs.14

And that was the most instructive part of the event because it is filled with an important life lesson which is very profitable for instruction in the task of locating and maximizing life’s opportunity.

Because here comes an opportunity of a lifetime, one that’s pregnant with transforming possibilities for her family with regards to the repaying of the debt owed and having enough left to cater to other existential matters.

But it was all dependent on the number of empty jars she could gather. Now imagine for a moment that she was an unfriendly type who is always making trouble with the people closest to her such as co-tenants and neighbors? Imagine if she’s not on talking terms with them?

That opportunity would have been screwed because there could’ve been no one to turn to for empty jars that would go on to determine the size of her blessings.

It would’ve been payback time for them by turning down her request for their empty jars though they may not have any use of them at that point in time.

The moral of this story is that you prepare for life’s opportunity with the right attitudes and cordial relations with people around you.

To locate and maximize opportunity, consider the following:

  • Preparation.

You can locate and maximize opportunity through preparation by way of the acquisition of relevant education/orientations/skill in one or more areas of specializations or by the way of developing your God given talents and gifts for such, the bible says, shall not only make ways for you, but make you stand before Kings. 

Indeed, it’s apt to recall that the motto of one of the greatest youth movements in the world, the Boy Scout is ‘Be Prepared’.   

  •  Information.

You can locate opportunity and maximize the same through staying informed. This is more pertinent because we now live in the high-speed information age which enables a very rapid transformation like never seen or known in the history of humanity.

So, positioning yourself for the right and timely information will go a long way in helping you to locate and maximizing opportunity in life.

  • Alertness.
Alertness is the reflexive capacity to ably response to positive energies around you, while avoiding or ignoring the negative ones.

And we speak of mental, social, economic, political, and spiritual alertness.

It generally involves knowing the signs of the time and minding them for your own good. Your opportunity for breakthrough, promotion, deliverance, healing, and restoration comes from all of the above.

  • Build a people-centric network.
Like I said earlier, people are the opportunity and opportunity is the people. The Chinese call it Quingxi.

The people are more often than not your eyes, nose, and ears concerning your search for lifelong progress and advancement.

Surely, they would bring you reports of new development to which you can avail yourselves if you’re in their network.  Summarily, have a good relationship with people for they are your sure resource for the blessing which God has destined for you. Always remember, nobody succeeds as an island. 

  • Being level-headed.
Level-headedness is the ability to stay calm even when the situation doesn’t warrant it or is going haywire. When you’re level-headed it makes you see and think clearly. As such you don’t get things all muddled up for yourself.

  • Being faithful.
Faith, the bible says, is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seeing. By it, the elders obtain good testimony.

The bible also says that ‘faith doesn’t make things easy, it makes them possible’. When you’re faithfully committed to what your hands have found to do and doing it well, you automatically identify and maximize opportunity around it.

  • Being goal-oriented.
Goal-oriented persons will easily locate opportunity and maximize opportunity than people who are not.

They’re so motivated and driven to succeed that they are continually on the look-out for ways to upgrade on their competences which ultimately leads to the awareness of and maximization of opportunity in their chosen field or career.      

  • Being focused.  
When you’re focused on something or on a journey it’s unlikely that you will not get to your desired destination.

It’s most unlikely that you would be driven and tossed around like the waves by the wind. And though storms of adversity may arise and wind of uncertainty may surge, they shall found you fearless because you know they are merely temporary distractions. 

  • Looking beyond temporary gratification.
Obsession with temporary gratification can make you miss out on an enduring opportunity and more so maximizing it.

Some jobs and callings come with little or no financial gains, especially in the beginning, and this has led many to overlook them thereby skimming over the brighter side to them in the long term.  

It’s advisable to try delaying your gratification even if the enterprise is self-originating. It makes it more fulfilling when it finally comes through. Food is sweetest, filling, and satisfying when hunger is more pronounced.

  • Despise not the day of little beginning.
All big things have a little and almost insignificant start. The mother hen of today was once a fragile pullet. There’s a seminal point to every significant thing you see out there.

We must be prepared to swim like a trout in the small stream then grow to a shark or other cetacean mammal capable of swimming in the ocean whose waves and tides are most violent and threatening to the feeble of aquatic creatures which carelessly venture beneath the treacherous sea.

As I leave you with this quote by Jack Ma, China’s richest man who, when asked to compare his brand, Alibaba with the big American rival, Amazon humbly reckoned that:

 Amazon is like a shark in the ocean, while Alibaba is still like a crocodile in the Yangtze”.  

The import of that, however, should not be lost on those who genuinely are seeking for an opportunity to launch out in business or career.

Because contextually the statement is neither that of admittance of failure and defeat nor of surrendering before the fight even commences.  

Rather, it’s a fair pronouncement borne out of humble assessment of the current reality of the two rival brands.

Yet, it’s so full of positives for those who can dare to dream, for those who are willing to start small where they presently are, being ready to scale up or diversify when possible.

Opportunity may be few and far between but real chances for growth will always come. However, don’t despise the day of little beginning and so bungled your chance to succeed in real-time in no distant future.  Follow your path, locate the inherent opportunity, and maximize it. Impossibility is nothing!

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