|Is opportunity knocking?|
- How do we make the most of the opportunities presented to us?
- What do we do when opportunity knocks?
- And can you ever have too much of a good thing?
These are some of the questions I've been thinking over this week.
Of course you only need to read the gossip magazines to see that it IS possible to have too much of see a good thing - many music and film stars fall off the rails and fill their lives with regret once they're rich and famous. Money doesn't buy you happiness, and instant fame comes with a cost, as many a former celebrity will tell you.
"There is meaning to be found in the journey towards success."In Malcolm Gladwell's book David and Goliath he presents the theory of Desirable Difficulty. This theory is that we actually need a healthy dose of struggle in our lives. So often we focus on overcoming overwhelming difficulty, but self made millionaires almost inevitably raise children who are less able to understand the value of money - there actually comes a point where too much money is undesirable.
Gladwell quotes an unnamed Hollywood executive, a self made man, who says this:
"My instinct is that it's much harder than anybody believes to bring up kids in a wealthy environment. People are ruined by challenged economic lives. But they're ruined by wealth as well because they lose their ambition and they lose their pride and they lose their sense of self worth. It's difficult at both ends of the spectrum. There's some place in the middle which probably works best of all."
There is meaning to be found in the journey towards success. Life shouldn't come easy, else we're inclined to take it for granted. Part of the reward is the toil, which helps us to be thankful for opportunities when they present themselves.
"Part of the reward is the toil, which helps us to be thankful for opportunities when they present themselves."
|Yes, you CAN have too much money!!|
I've not had overnight success with my writing and music. I haven't yet reached millions. My phone isn't ringing off the hook with speaking requests and no-one's trampling my door down to read my stuff!
That's not to say that it won't happen, it just hasn't happened yet - and in many ways I think that's a good thing. I don't want to end up like so many lottery millionaires, ruined by a good thing.
Success takes many forms, and for me the big win is about being a blessing to others whilst preserving and improving my relationships with my wife and family.
As I identified in my recent post Nine Ways To Be More Creative, it's important to "go long" - working for the long term reward rather than instant success. Part of that is developing your craft and honing your skill, and there are few shortcuts to this - it's about putting in the hours, making mistakes and getting better. Making progress through marginal and incremental gains, with the occasional step change.
For me this looks like writing this weekly blog, seeing what does and doesn't connect with my audience, and building that audience through various channels. It's also about improving the presentation of my content, finding different ways to use it and developing the entrepreneurial mindset to go with it.
With social media these days, you may be only one "share" away from going viral - my question is how you prepare yourself to make the most of this! When opportunity knocks, are you ready to open the door? I often joke with my colleagues in the office about my ambition to make a viral YouTube video that will earn me millions of pounds! (A pipe dream at this stage since I've not yet made any YouTube videos!).
"When opportunity knocks, are you ready to open the door?"Putting in those ten thousand hours to master your craft can take a while, and a picture I found helpful in this regard is a fishing net. In many ways, I feel like the regular hours that I put in are like weaving my net. Each post, each connection, each improvement is another section of the net. The more you put in, the bigger your net gets and the more you can catch when opportunity knocks!
|Are your nets ready?|
Jesus tells the fishermen to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, upon which their nets almost burst with a record haul of fish! They need all of their net and all of their skill to haul in the catch.
It's all very well wanting opportunity, seeking success, but if you're going to make the most of it you've got to be in the boat, plying your trade through those fishless nights, with the net you've made and with the skill to be able to pull it in in the first place! And just remember the theory of desirable difficulty - maybe there's a way to re-frame what you've already achieved and be thankful for that.
So how can you enlarge your net this week? And how can you refine your craft? Maybe you feel like you're not catching anything right now... in which case it could be time to consider casting your nets in a different place.
Be thankful for opportunity, it doesn't come easy, and listen out for those knocks!
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