Opportunities are Everywhere

By | October 8, 2018

[October 8, 2018]  The quote below from Thomas Edison is one of my personal favorites.  Edison is, of course, one of the world’s most famous and prolific inventors.  Like many who are fantastically successful, they tell us that success only comes through seizing opportunities.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison, American inventor and businessman

Many young adults new to leadership often tell me about their fears and concerns.  One of those is the fear of making the right decision, at the right time, and on something important.  That is understandable but I always say that the problem they fear is not of making the right decision once but making a series of good decisions over time.

Opportunities are found everywhere.  Taking advantage of those opportunities means having a get-er-done mindset.  Go after them.  There is frequently little need to contemplate too much over the small opportunities.  Besides, deciding to take advantage of a small opportunity builds our resilience to failure and adversity.  The worst thing we can do is to make no decision at all.

I’m particularly fond of my friend Stanley who throws caution to the wind and jumps into one opportunity after another.  We’ve been friends now for over 30 years and I find him as interesting today as the first day we met.  He is the poster child for the get-er-done leadership style.  If there is something to do … he just does it.  If there is an opportunity … he doesn’t wait until it knocks.

Just do it is a trademark of the shoe company Nike.  The Nike Company knows how to not just take opportunities but to create them.  Stanley probably thinks they’re too cautious.

One frustration I have of some folks is their inability to grasp that an opportunity has come their way.  They complain and gripe about how they or their family members never seem to get a break.  When I point out some of their more obvious opportunities, they came back with an excuse.  It should be of no surprise they are unhappy with life.

In the smallest and most innocuous things in life, opportunity awaits.  If you can’t find it, create it.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “Opportunities are Everywhere

  1. Georgie M.

    By the way, Gen. Satterfield, your articles selected in your ‘Daily Favorites’ were especially good today. Thank you for this section. Not sure if everyone knows about it so everyone reading this should look there for a whole list of great articles personally selected by Gen. Satterfield himself.

  2. Shawn C. Stolarz

    Quote from Julia Felton article: “I wonder what opportunities are surrounding you that you are failing to see? So for today just slow down and stop, and really look around you. You might be amazed at what you are missing that is right beside you.” Good one!!!!

  3. Darryl Sitterly

    Happy COLUMBUS DAY everyone!
    Oh, that’s not politically correct anymore. My bad. I must be retarded?
    Have a wonderful day anyway.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Darryl, I nearly spit my coffee up through my nose when I read your comment. Thanks for a side of humor today.

    2. Dale Paul Fox

      Funny Darrly. But I think your sarcasm is lost on the “snowflakes” of America. We certainly raised a dull, self-centered bunch of kids.

    3. Ronny Fisher

      Wait a minute Darryl. Isn’t “retarded” one of those prohibited words that the thought police will admonish you for?
      He He … good one!

  4. Nick Lighthouse

    Good article on a worthwhile subject and one we often pay close attention to but fail to execute in seizing the opportunity that is presented to us.

  5. Eddie Ray Anderson,

    Personal experience matters a great deal. I have found that some people are better at recognizing and jumping onto an opportunity than others. It’s not that they are smarter or necessarily more motivated. They have the relevant experience on how to do it.
    Oh, go Yankees.

    1. Danny Burkholder

      Thanks, Lynn. Yes, a good article. Thanks for the research.

  6. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    Gen. Satterfield, you’ve written on this topic of great opportunities before and it bears repeating. Thanks.

  7. Max Foster

    When people say they need more opportunities they often really mean they want something handed to them. I just laugh to myself and think these are people who believe they will do a good job. They lack motivation.

    1. Doug Smith

      Good comment. Motivation is the key to success … along with hard work, etc.

  8. Janna Faulkner

    Often written about but rarely paid attention to is the fact that everywhere we go (at least in the West) there are unlimited opportunities to improve ourselves and to make our lot better. I hear whining from young folk all the time. Too bad they are just blind to what’s out there.


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