We've all heard the expression, "Opportunities are where you find them."
Unfortunately for many of us, we also relate it to searching for the "needle
in the haystack" cliche'. If the opportunity is not very obvious, - as in,
sort of knocks us over - then we don't often recognize it. The moment
passes and that opportunity is frequently gone forever.
Some people shy away from what may be an opportunity because they are
afraid. The fear may be of failure, fear of lack of knowledge regarding the
product or service involved, fear of dealing with the unknown, fear of
changes in their lifestyle or comfort zone, and any number of other reasons.
Sometimes, it is simply the failure to act. Taking action about any thing
requires a certain amount of thought and energy. Often times the mental
processes are just simply engaged in other activities and filter out any new
ideas that may try to intrude, silently saying, "Don't bother me right now;
Back in the 80s, I had the privilege of being around one of the business
acquaintences of my husband on numerous occasions. He was a very
unimposing gentleman who always had a cheerful smile and kind word to share.
I was aware that he was counted in the ranks of very successful business
persons by his peers. Yet, I never really gave much thought to his
accomplishments. He was just another "one of the guys" who was well liked, but did nothing to call attention to himself. I was not aware that we had even rated his thoughts beyond that of business until he called and ask to
visit with us. John, my husband, had retired and we were leaving Dallas.
Our friend came to visit and to wish us farewell.
We would not know until a
trip to Dallas later on, that it had indeed been "farewell". We had been out of
state for a while and did not know of his passing. It was a shock, of
course. But this fine gentleman left a legacy behind that has stayed with
me all of these years. As I remember him from time to time, I know that he
would be pleased to know that his visit was a lasting memory.
Our friend believed in and practiced "looking for hidden opportunities". He
was a person who believed that there was something good in every situation.
He was the sort of person who not only believed that, but he made a point to
look for the good in every situation.
During his visit with us, he related a story. He had then recently made a
business trip to California. His agenda, as usual, was full. He had met
all of his appointments and finally rushed back to the airport to return to
Dallas. Upon checking in for his flight, he discovered that there would be
a two hour delay. I can tell you what most people would have done. Yes,
fret, fume and in general, be out of sorts for rushing just to have to cool
their heels for two hours. Well, not this guy! He happily shared that he
took in the news, pulled out his client book, and said, "Thank you, Lord,
for this opportunity." Whereupon, he made a telephone call to a client that
he had not had time to schedule into his agenda. The client having agreed
to see him, he hailed a cab and left the airport. Two hours later when his
plane departed California, this guy had a nice fat order resting in his coat
pocket. He said that it was one of the easiest, quickest and most lucrative
appointments he had had.
It was a "hidden opportunity" he dared to look for it and to take action.
That was quite a lesson and legacy. Thanks, Paul. I shall always remember.
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©2001 All Rights Reserved.