Periodically during the course of our lives we are granted the "opportunity of a lifetime." It's a chance that doesn't come our way very often, and usually one that would result in tremendous benefits for us, if we can manage to grasp it before it slips away. Some of us are able to grab ahold, while others may lose their grip for whatever reason and miss the chance.
The initial disappointment and loss we feel is understandable and expected. But what many of us do at times like this is apply the disappointment to everything in our lives. We slap a red "failure" label on our foreheads and toss in the towel. Because we didn't "succeed" at this opportunity, we convince ourselves that we'll NEVER succeed at our goals and dreams. Nothing could be further from the truth!
While it's true that certain specific opportunities only occur "once in a lifetime," that doesn't mean there won't be other opportunities coming our way. Many of us create a mental vision of the packaging our dream is wrapped in. We get attached to that packaging, and believe that if our dream doesn't happen in a certain timeframe, or in a certain way, then we've failed. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, as do our dreams and goals.
When you look closely enough, most opportunities are literally "once in a lifetime" chances -- meaning, each opportunity has its own unique qualities, benefits, and level of results. Rarely are we presented with the same exact opportunity day after day. They are all special and important in their own ways. Some of them are BIG opportunities that will propel us directly to our desired outcome in one great leap, while others are smaller and might move us forward just a tiny bit. They're all good though, because progress is progress!
While some opportunities seem to fall right into our laps, we can also create our own opportunities, every single day. Here are two ways to do that:
Seek and find - There are so many great opportunities out there, if we just take the time to look. Think outside the box. Explore alternative possibilities that will move you closer to your goal. Read newspapers and magazines, and browse the Internet, with the INTENT to find some opportunities for yourself. Most of the time we end up missing them because we're not looking. Set out with the intention that you are looking for them, and you will find them (or they will find you). Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try something new or unusual.
Create your own - Whatever your ultimate goal, think about the ways in which you could open some doors for yourself. Perhaps you could donate your talents to a worthy organization, or be an intern for someone in your desired field. Seek out those who are doing what you want to do, and ask them questions about how they got started. Most people are pleased and flattered to be sought out for advice, and many are very willing to help you get started, even if it's by offering some resources or contacts. Make a list of every idea you have that could help you move forward on your goals. I think you may surprise yourself with great ideas you've never considered before.
When it comes right down to it, there are many, many, MANY paths to the same goal. Some of them may be closed to us, but there are always others to explore. If you interviewed 100 people in similar career stations, I bet they'd each have a very unique story about how they got where they are today.
I happen to believe that if you have a deep, burning desire to do something specific with your life, then you WILL do it - as long as you don't give up before you get there. The journey to success can be so frustrating, frightening and . . . fun! It's all in the attitude. Be gentle with yourself, try your hardest, and believe that you can get to where you want to be. Most importantly, let go of the outcome, and just enjoy the scenery.
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