“Opportunity does not send letters of introduction.” – Naomi Sims, Model and Entrepreneur
I heard this years ago, and it is a constant reminder to me of missed opportunities. You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself. So, you must stay ready.
Are you present? Don’t be distracted by thoughts on the past or worries about the future but stay focused in the here and now. Everything you dream about your future is bound in your present. The thoughts and actions you have today will define your tomorrow. If you are dreaming of a better future, then you must change your thoughts today.
Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Are you comfortable with today’s experiences? Are you where you thought you would be? There is no such thing as tomorrow, tomorrow never comes, because today is always here. If you waste today, you’ll waste tomorrow. The thoughts and actions you have today show up tomorrow.
While visiting my mom in Seattle (2012), she pulled out a large container of pictures that weren’t categorized. One by one, I sifted through the container. Each picture recalled great memories. We laughed as we reminisced at old memories.
I found my self staring at an old high school picture of graduation and prom. It triggered something with my mom. She initiated a conversation shared between her and Gilbert (Ike Gilbert), who much later in life became my mom’s husband, that’s another blog. (smile). He found himself at a crossroad, deciding what to do after graduation. She said it was in that moment she felt a sense of loss looking at those pictures. She didn’t have the opportunity to decide what to do after graduation. The decision had already been made. She became a teen mom and had to drop out of school. In the “old days” of the 1960’s, 50’s and 40’s, pregnant teen-agers were outsiders, banished from schools, ostracized by their peers. My mom sharing that intimate moment of her life with me was monumental. This is something she never shared. My mom was an “A” student and a mastermind in Math. She recognized that her action did not coincide with her plans. Yes, she missed the prom and graduation, but so much more was loss.
Her thoughts and actions put off her dreams until a “more opportune time” or until tomorrow-just like so many of us do-she was placing her dreams beyond her reach. It was a dream deferred. My mom chose to get her GED. She worked hard to study for her GED. it took balancing being a full-time mother and working a fulltime job, but she did it. While studying for her test people treated her with disdain and contempt and made it clear it was not the same as a high school diploma. She didn’t allow that to stop her. She would become an entrepreneur and run several businesses as an accountant. No one promised us a thousand years to live and to achieve our dreams. Be ready. Get your thoughts and actions in order. Move toward that which you desire most. I admit, it’s good to plan, but remember, all successful planning must be founded upon and appreciation of present opportunities.
A very wise woman once told me. “If you can tell me what you want, I can tell you how to get it.” She was a wise woman because she knew that each of us have the capability to achieve whatever we desire. If you are dissatisfied and feel you have missed opportunities maybe you have not decided what you want.
I remember thinking I wanted to do a blog. I wasn’t sure how to do it, but I identified what I wanted to do.
The question that we must ask ourselves is, how do I know I can achieve what I want? How do I prepare for opportunities? The answer is self-evident. We do not seriously want things that we do not have the ability to achieve. We are wired in a way that keeps us from wanting what is out of reach of our capabilities. The spectrum of dreams and opportunities show us the diversity of human desires.
So how do you prepare for those opportunities? Simple. Make up your mind-know exactly what you want and be ready for that door to open and then DO IT!