Ever sat back and mused with regret over not opening the door when opportunity knocked? Over lost opportunities? That wonderful opportunity you didn’t or couldn’t take? Any you missed this week? Why did you miss them?
I’ve had moments when I ponder over that opportunity I missed—and with it comes regret. There are times that opportunities knock at our door, but we feel tied up and unable to take them up because of our situation in life.
Most of the decisions we make in life prevent us from jumping up and grabbing an opportunity. For example—when we take up a job, it is a commitment we have to keep and this keeps us from taking up something that might stop us from doing this. When we get married and have kids, we’re focused on a routine that really doesn’t let us run off with friends on a backpacking trip. It’s a fact of life, whether or not we admit it.
But there are moments when we prefer to stay locked in life’s situation simply because it is safer to do so. And when opportunity knocks, we won’t take advantage of it. We consciously keep those doors bolted because by opening them, involves taking up the challenge of change. We are afraid of disrupting the routines and habits we are comfortable with, feel secure about. When we choose not to open the door, we slowly stop recognizing opportunities when they knock.
These opportunities can be in the form of a new job, a new relationship, a new hobby or activity, learning something new, getting rid of what we don’t need, letting go—some kind of change. But unless we’re open to them, watch for them so we don’t miss them when we see them, these windows of opportunity will shut automatically if we don’t respond.
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.
Another thing—we mustn’t be so busy with our routine, rushing around, that we don’t notice an opportunity when it is nudging us. The truth is, the doors of opportunity always surround us. That’s the beauty of life. They don’t always present themselves in the avatar we expect. Often, we are so surprised by the opportunity, we miss it–we don’t recognize it for what it is. And sometimes we are so caught up with accomplishing a long-term goal that we lose perspective. We forget to live in the present moment—we miss what is right in front of our eyes.
I love these words by Rita Coolidge:
Too often, the opportunity knocks, but by the time you push back the chain, push back the bolt, unhook the two locks and shut off the burglar alarm, it’s too late.
Something to think about:
- Have you had opportunities in the past that you haven’t taken up? Why?
- If you regretted not taking them, what did you do about it?
- How do you recognize opportunities?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.