We’ve all done it. Purchased a creative piece of clothing, read an article that introduced us to a contemporary concept, engaged in a new activity, or researched a fresh topic. We thought we were unique and original until we stepped outside and found that many others had made the same purchase; knew about and could discuss the same topic from another angle; had been engaged in our new activity for years; or had research this revolutionary subject in the past. It’s true. Once you start focusing on something, all of a sudden you see it all around you.
So why not start focusing on opportunities? Your opportunities; so you can lift the camouflage and see your opportunities all around you.
Ask 5 unemployed or unhappily employed individuals why they don’t have jobs and the majority will tell you that there are no opportunities. If however you follow Jason Dorsey’s advice and “believe that opportunity is everywhere” it will feel “as if the entire world were working to help you live your dreams.” Rather than sitting wounded in the job search battle you can become a hero in your own future.
Dorsey offers some great scenarios to help you determine if you’re spending your career development days looking for opportunities or laying wounded in battle. Below are three adaptations of his scenarios. Are you an opportunity seeker or wounded?
Twice a day as you drive around town you pass an abandoned, run-down house. It has a collapsing roof and you think people are dealing drugs there at night.
A. An eyesore that should be condemned by the city and demolished
B. A house ripe for revitalization. Maybe you could turn it into government-subsidized housing or a homeless shelter
Despite hard work and numerous hours dedicated to learning your craft you unexpectedly get fired from your first real job.
A. This is the worst thing that could have ever happened to you, because good jobs are practically impossible to find.
B. You now have permission and freedom to finally pursue your career dream.
You’ve envisioned yourself working in a field you love and still having time to be with your family.
A. Laugh at the prospect of loving your work and having family time, and tell yourself that dreams only come true in fairytales.
B. Plan some small, incremental steps you can take toward realizing your vision and start on them immediately.
A’s or B’s? Which define you? If you’re a B most of the time good for you. You’re seeing opportunities in your life. Keep it up. Search out opportunities continuously to find personal improvements for your work and life. Talk about your skills and talents and you’ll find others with similar skills and talents in a variety of jobs that may appeal to you.
If you're feeling kind of wounded as an A however, you can make a change today. The first step to moving from wounded in battle to opportunity seeker is repeatedly forcing yourself to see opportunities in each event or situation you encounter. Think of opportunities that are silly, that are serious, that are challenging or easy. Think of how the situation will change your life for the better, or change someone else’s life for the better. Think of the possibilities you now have available or can make available. Just think of opportunities. The more frequently you think of opportunities the more naturally thinking of them will become.
With thinking comes believing, and then seeing, and then living. If you live for opportunity there is no doubt that the future you have envisioned will be possible – and will become yours. This sounding a little too rose colored glasses for you? Read all about the self-fulfilling prophecy coined and described by sociologist Robert K. Merton in his book Social Theory and Social Structure or check out the self-fulfilling prophecy on the web. There are loads of interesting articles.