[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.