There is so much going on in the world at any time that it is really a world of opportunity, Even in times of difficulty, there are opportunities available in each area of your life.  Some people struggle because they can’t see any opportunities but one of the most common problems you are likely to face with opportunity is not a lack of opportunities but failure to understand which opportunity is best for you.

Just because something is an opportunity, it does not mean that it is a good fit for you. I have seen countless people invest their time and energy, their heart and soul, into what seemed like a fantastic opportunity(project) only for it all to blow up in their face. And when it does blow up, it leaves scars. It may even deter them from pursuing future opportunities because they don’t want to experience the pain or stress again.

Clarify your purpose

Clarify and define your purpose so that you can use it to guide your most critical decisions; eliminating the 80% which does not matter so that you can focus on the 20% that does.

To clarify and define your purpose, check out 'Living Purposefully'.

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The hidden cost of the wrong opportunity

Modern Gurus would have us believe that we can have everything we want, when we want it, at a cost that works for us. That just isn’t true. Whenever you say ‘Yes’ to something, you are invariably saying ‘No’ to something else. If you don’t consider that before you jump into it, you may end up passing up on something which you value more.

For example, when I was buying my house last year, I looked at a bigger house than the one I bought. That bigger house came with a bigger price. Though I could afford it, I had to consider what I really wanted.

Had I bought the bigger house, I would have had higher mortgage payments. It would also have cost me more in both time and money to maintain and, it was also further from the centre of town.

What I wanted was a house in a convenient location that met my needs, didn’t cause me stress, and didn’t burn a hole in my pocket.

So, I said ‘No’ to the bigger house. A few weeks later, the house I ended up buying was reduced in price by €20,000 so I snapped it up right away. Given the extra money and time I now have, I am able to make plans that I couldn't have otherwise considered.

The best way to get to the great opportunities in life is to say 'No' to the opportunities that are not a good fit for you.

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Why an opportunity goes sour

When an apparently good opportunity goes sour on you, it is usually for one of two reasons:

1. It wasn’t a good fit for you

The opportunity may very well be a good opportunity but is it a good opportunity for you? You may be interested but interest is not enough. You must have passion for the opportunity to fuel you through the toughest times. Because every project will hit tough times where you are going to have to deal with immense difficulties which are going to really test you. If you lack the necessary passion for the project, it is likely to turn into a ball of stress.

2. The people are not a good fit for you

Just because someone does things differently than you does not mean that either of you is wrong. But it can mean that you are not going to work well together.

For many years, my family had a butcher shop in our hometown. When I was a young boy, I used to work there after school. I would help to clean and tidy after the day’s business. However, my father and I were constantly at loggerheads. He had his way of doing things which was very detailed and anal e.g. there was a particular way he expected a cloth to be held when you were washing a wall.  For me, if you washed the wall clean, it didn’t matter what way you held the cloth.

These differences applied to just about every job I had to do. In the end, the arguments became so common that my mother stepped in and declared that I was not working there anymore.

In contrast, when my brother John took over the shop, I was able to work with him as our working styles, though not the same, were more closely matched.

The tool to help you choose the right opportunity for you

There is one tool in your arsenal that makes it much easier to determine whether an opportunity is right for you, or not. That tool is your purpose. When you are clear on your purpose, you know more about yourself. You know your passion and you do not struggle to tell them apart from the things you are just interested in. You understand why you do what you do and if the opportunity does not fit with that, you know it is not right for you.

In addition to why you do what you do, you also understand how you do it best. In a work sense, this translates to how you work best. You understand the types of people and environments that bring the best out of you. But you also understand the types of people and environments that make it more difficult for you to perform to your best. Again, I must stress, it is not that either the people or the environment are bad; it is just that they are not a good fit for you or, you for them.

Avoiding the wrong opportunity

The key to avoiding the wrong opportunity is taking responsibility for what you bring to the table. You can’t control other people and you most likely won't have much say over the other details. So, you need to look at yourself and how you will fit with what you know about the opportunity.

Get as much information as you can about the people, environment, conditions, and expectations that go with the project. Then compare them to your purpose and how you work best.  Do they fit well together? If they don’t, it may be best to give this opportunity a miss and hold on for the next one.

Clarify your purpose

Clarify and define your purpose so that you can use it to guide your most critical decisions; eliminating the 80% which does not matter so that you can focus on the 20% that does.

To clarify and define your purpose, check out 'Living Purposefully'.

Living Purposefully Workbook Course Image


Now and again we see what we think is a real opportunity and we dive right in. But while it may be an opportunity for someone, it may not be right for you. That is important to consider. Does the opportunity fit with you are? Because if it doesn’t, it will not be the golden chance you are hoping for. When the going gets tough, it is more likely to suck the life out of you. The best way to get to the right opportunities for you is to say ‘No’ to the ones which just don’t fit. Getting clear on your purpose will enable you to do this.


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