We will save the suspense and just declare, there is no formula for success.
By best definition, success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose“. Being at point A with the intention of going to point B, then getting there, is success. Sending your child to college, writing a novel, receiving that promotion – whatever the point B is, it starts with the intention of reaching it.
It is our experience that opportunity doesn’t discriminate. It is available to everyone. However, it only exists in the gap between points A and B. And those opportunities are the pieces that assist and lead to that final objective. Many “formulas” are based upon the creation of those opportunities, but we find the efforts required to make something do something are much more strenuous than just concentrating the energies on point B. And of course, utilize an opportunity when it crosses your path.
Having said that the efforts to make opportunities are hefty, we would further mention that opportunities have elements that attract them. Those are the “hows” of accomplishing an aim. Practice one or two and opportunities get attracted, practice three or four and more opportunities will be attracted. Practice none and you’re just dreaming about B. Our little list provides some of the elements that we have found opens doors and invites opportunities:
1. Have a defined destination.
It’s difficult to accomplish a goal when you’re not clear on what that destination is. Opportunities can pass unrecognized. It’s difficult to appreciate the value in something when you can’t associate it with your goals. Also, the journey can become quite lengthy. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but an undefined destination results in some swerves and curves and circles. That can turn one mile into twenty quite easily.
2. Evaluate your resources.
What do you have available? You’re listing tangible items – resources, contacts, training, possessions. Anything within your control or influence. Then you evaluate how they may serve in achieving your goal. Opportunities can directly relate to your destination, or they can apply to your resources. Understanding your inventory helps in recognizing the latter.
3. Be genuine.
Perhaps you can be a bit of a jerk watching a hockey game – own it. Subdue it if you choose for the benefit of others, but don’t hide or conceal it from yourself because then you’ll have a blind spot about yourself. Of course, that example is uncomplimentary but it’s deliberate for a reason. An opportunity for you is just that: for you – not who you pretend to be.
4. Commit to the purpose.
Decide each day to continue the pursuit of your destination. Remind yourself that there’s a reason for what you do. You are seeking to accomplish the purpose that first inspired you. As mentioned, opportunities only exist between points A and B – giving up means leaving that location.
5. Be teachable.
Opportunities many times come in some unexpected places. It’s the ones that are less esteemed that often yield the greatest results. Being teachable means a willingness to listen to more than just one’s self. And it means recognizing that your opportunities can exist with and within anyone.
6. Be generous.
Opportunities are not earned or made, but they are shared through generosity. Opportunities are gifts, and being generous imparts those gifts. And the space it leaves is quickly filled as like begets like. The more that opportunities are imparted, the more they exist and become available. And gifts, in our experience are easier to recognize than rewards. They’re not anticipated or planned for – they just show up.
7. Be friendly.
Networking invites opportunities because “opportunities can exist with and within anyone”. Cultivate friendships and relationships through sharing your goals and theirs. Take time and interest in their pursuits Help them where you can. You will find that your journey is not an isolated endeavour – it includes others interested in your success, too.
This is a short list, and does not explore belief systems and higher ideals, but it does include what we have found to effectively and consistently attract opportunity.