Read Time: 4 minutes and 25 seconds.
You’re having a casual coffee with a friend, when suddenly he gets all serious.
“I’ve got a business idea I want to share with you”, he says.
As the steam wisps away from your coffee, he lays out an idea he’s had for a long time.
But he needs your help.
There’s a sizable workload and it’s going to require a significant investment.
Feeling sceptical, you tell him you’re going to need some time to think about it.
The investment is going to use up most of your savings, and there’s no certainty of success.
After a few weeks of thinking, you decide to go for it.
Jumping on the phone, you tell him the good news, with a smile on your face.
“Sorry man, I couldn’t wait, I partnered up with John instead. We’ve already gotten ourselves registered as a business!”.
Feeling disappointment sink in, you end the call and sit quietly for a moment.
You regret not having acted sooner when the opportunity presented itself.
Are you surprised by this outcome?
In this edition of The Path Toward Purpose we’re going to explore Seizing Opportunities: A Guide to Recognizing and Taking Action on Promising Moments and how you can use this skill set in every realm of life.
The Foundations of Seizing Opportunity
Spotting opportunities is a skill.
Some of us are born with it, others have to practice to develop it with time.
The only way to understand whether a situation presents an opportunity.
Is to be able to see everything that might occur from a bird's-eye point of view.
Zooming out and contextualizing everything that might occur in the present and future.
So you know if the deck is stacked in your favour, or against it.
The Mental Framework
Humans have always needed to capitalize on opportunity.
It’s almost like a special skill set we can unlock provided we apply time and practice towards it.
Our ancient ancestors would have needed to learn the right time to strike during a hunt.
They had to devise the correct strategy to execute during battle and invasion.
And most importantly, the ability to succeed within a hierarchical court environment, during Imperial times.
It’s how some people get ahead in life so quickly.
Climbing the corporate ladder, or growing their businesses swiftly.
They know how to spot and use opportunity to their advantage.
How-To Apply This
Learning to develop a sixth sense for opportunity is going to take practice.
However, if you apply what I’m going to show you below, you’re going to be a few steps ahead.
Here’s a method you can use:
Step 1. Quieten your mind, expand your foresight
Most of the time, when we communicate with other people, we might be tempted to speak more than we listen.
This is a fallacy.
The more we talk, the less we learn about the world.
To spot opportunity, it’s going to require you to quieten your own thoughts and be absorbed in the present moment.
Immerse yourself in the ability to observe, communicate and draw links between events in life.
The more that you do this, you’ll begin to develop foresight.
It’s the ability to predict outcomes before they occur.
When you refine your foresight, you’ll be able to spot opportunities, because you can already estimate the end result.
You’ll know if something is a dead end.
Or if it leads to the promised land.
Step 2. Take a bird’s eye approach
Once you adapt and refine your innate skill of foresight.
You’re going to find that it’s not enough.
This is where a bird’s eye approach comes into play.
It’s where you can zoom out of the present moment, to immerse yourself in the situation as it unfolds.
Think of the situation as a chessboard.
Plot out every event that could occur and see what resources you’ll require and what moves you’ll need to make.
When you have an aerial view of events, it makes it very easy to spot opportunity.
Step 3. Act swiftly and surely
Arguably, this is the most important step.
All the foresight in the world can’t help someone that stalls when it matters most.
It’s like a car engine that decides to stall when you shift gear.
When you’re able to spot an opportunity, you have to act immediately.
Decipher if it’s going to serve you well and take the necessary steps.
Or if it’s going to be a waste of your time and immediately detach from the situation.
Learning to quickly decide yes or no is a vital skill to make progress in life.
You can’t think about a decision for too long, it’s merely wasting your time.
Think clearly, carefully and concisely.
Then take the action required.
🚀 Next Steps
If right now, you have an opportunity sitting in front of you, make a decision.
Either seize the moment, or let it go.
Don’t spend forever in perpetual anguish, unsure on what comes next.
Instead act with the confidence that regardless of the outcome, you have the capability to handle it.
That’s how you make progress in life.
Through seizing opportunities, and learning along the way.