Opportunity, and — more specifically — what you do with it, is the key to growth and development. Think of it in these terms: “Point A” represents who, what, and where you are today. “Point B” is your aspiration, destination, or goal (who, what, and where you want to be, tomorrow). The path between these two points represents opportunity. Sometimes the path will be obvious. Other times, it may not. Regardless, your ultimate success in any endeavor will depend on how effectively you navigate this path. Here are 4 strategies, as they relate to opportunity (with some added basketball analogies):
Look For It
Sometimes you can’t wait for opportunity to knock at your door. You will have to open the door, walk through the doorway, and search for it. In basketball, your defender isn’t always going to provide you with a clear path to the hoop. Think with the end in mind. Make sure your goal is clear and specific. The means to your goal attainment will be more clear if you know and understand what success looks like. Seek advice and guidance by consulting with others who have experience and expertise in your area of interest.
Opportunity isn’t always obvious, nor is it always in plain sight. If you are a student of the game, your opponent’s tendencies will reveal themselves, over the course of the game. You have to be willing to think broadly and “connect” your development plan with your goal. Once again, it all begins with goal setting. There may be some trial and error, along the way, but that’s okay. Build some “checkpoints” into your plan. This will make it easier to recognize whether or not you’re on the right track.
Take Advantage Of It
When you do find and recognize opportunity, take action… don’t procrastinate. The window of opportunity sometimes closes very quickly. In basketball, boxing out your opponent to get a rebound is important, but you have to go after the ball, too.
There will be times when you just have to do it yourself. Leverage your strengths and talents. Use the information you have gleaned from scouting your opponent, and other past experiences, and create your own opportunity. Calculated risk-taking will be part of the equation. As the old proverb states, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
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