At the beginning of the movie Forrest Gump, a feather floats down from the sky and ultimately lands at the foot of Forrest. Imagine the feather as an opportunity. What does Forrest do? He picks up the feather. What do you do when opportunities land at your feet? Do you pick them up? And what do you do during turbulent times when the feathers stop landing at your feet? Do you get up off your buttocks and chase them down?
Opportunity is defined as an appropriate or favorable time for advancement or success. Are you a person who regularly looks for opportunities? Do you recognize opportunities when they land at your feet? Or are you blind to opportunities even when they land in your lap?
Looking for opportunities is the best way to find them. Shakti Gawain says, “You create your opportunities by asking for them.” Francis Bacon, Sr. said, “Wise men make more opportunities than they find.” So sitting back and waiting for opportunities is a bit like playing the lottery – a long-shot at best.
Recognizing opportunities is critical. “Most people don’t recognize opportunity when it comes, because it’s usually dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work,” quipped Thomas A. Edison. Edison knew about hard work as he tried over 1000 different filaments before finding the one that would work in a light bulb. The opportunity for Edison to change the world was concealed behind lots of hard work. Giving up for Edison would have been easy. Relentless pursuit for the proper filament was hard work.
The story of Forrest Gump is certainly one of opportunity. When Forrest failed many times in his initial trips on his shrimp boat, it would have been easy to give up. But, persistence ultimately paid off and the shrimp became bountiful.
The American Dream can be similarly classified as opportunity. America has been viewed as a land in which a person’s prospects in life are defined by one’s talents and energy, rather than by one’s family wealth or political connections. Simply stated, if one works hard and does the right thing, then good things can and often do happen … just like the story of Forrest Gump – or the real life story of Thomas Edison.
Opportunities are constantly swirling all around us just like the feather that floated down and landed at the foot of Forrest Gump. Sometimes they even land in our laps. But letting the feather or opportunities sit idly on the ground or even brushing them aside is too often the easiest thing to do. Are you willing to do the hard work in recognizing, tracking down, and picking up the opportunities that are swirling around you? Even during turbulent times?
Next Blog Title: Take Advantage of the Unexpected!
Next Blog Date: Monday, February 1, 2010