Thoughts from the Pond

~ Opportunity and Luck ~
Make the most of your opportunities and you make the most of your life...

Opportunity is looking beyond the surface of a situation and seeing what others do not see.

A problem is an opportunity waiting to happen.

Life is a series of challenges...Challenges are opportunities... Life is a series of opportunities.

Opportunities abound... The forward steps we take in life provide opportunity for greater success and fulfillment by providing us with the knowledge of what works for us. In the setbacks of life there is opportunity to achieve our goals and dreams by trying new strategies and new paths... Opportunity is around every corner. Be sure to look for it so you don't pass it by!

One opportunity falling apart is another chance for a greater opportunity to present itself.

Many people miss opportunities because they don't recognize them. Opportunity is often packed within a seemingly negative situation. All it takes is a closer examination of the situation to un-wrap the opportunity within...

Two social volunteers arrived at their new project assignment, a run-down, drug and crime infested area of town. After surveying the situation, one of the volunteers relayed the following information to the project manager: "I am sorry, but I cannot remain on this assignment. There is just too much misery and too many problems here. Hungry neglected children, drug dealers, thieves, and poverty are rampant. There is nothing I can do here..."

The second volunteer relayed this information to the project manager: "Thank you for the opportunity to work on this project. The opportunities to learn, teach, and help here are tremendous. We have a lot of work to do and I suggest we get started as soon as possible. No where are we more desperately needed than in this area of town."

Many times opportunity is a matter of perspective.

We may wonder why another person doesn't take advantage of the capabilities we see in them and seize their opportunities...yet many times we don't see our own capabilities and don't take advantage of our own real opportunities. Why? A major reason is that we don't see the self-imposed limitations others have set for themselves, while we see and live our own self-imposed limitations...rid yourself of those self-imposed limitations and you will see more opportunity!

A young man, 27 and soon to be married, met his fiancé 7 years ago. Together they worked through what seemed like insurmountable problems. He adored her and she adored him.

The problems they overcame had made them stronger, and their love for each other grew tremendously. Both agreed that in spite of the difficult times the last several years were the happiest they had ever had. She had come from a broken home, infested with abusive and drug abusing parents and step parents. At 16 she left home, becoming a victim of a string of battering boyfriends who consistently told her she would never amount to anything and that no one else could ever love her or care about her. Then she met her husband-to-be and together they worked hard putting her life back together and creating a solid relationship. Financially it had been an extremely difficult struggle, often meaning dinner was minimal or non-existent. Her medical problems seemed all too persistent and draining for both of them.

Heavily in debt they survived, having each other to hold on to. But they used the difficult times to grow and strengthen, and they saw the value of those hard times.

They realized that they had what really mattered - each other.

Now, he sits in the hospital chapel, asking God why, after making it through all the multitude of problems, He could justify letting cancer quickly take her life away. This was the one last problem that they could not overcome. "Why, after several years of surviving and loving and caring and struggling have you chose to let this happen? Did care and love and all of our struggles mean nothing?" His bitterness was evident. Then, he received an answer as the thought popped in to his mind that "who better to give the mission of making the last years of this young woman's life ones of happiness, joy, and meaning. Who better to understand her and to learn and to grow with her?" Somehow the young man knew that he was the chosen one. The young man then sank to his knees and thanked God for granting him this opportunity and apologizing for thinking it was a punishment of some kind.

The next day they were married in her hospital room. Her dream of finding the right man and getting married and being happy had finally been realized. The hard work, the caring, the loving, and the struggling were not in vain, but were of the utmost value and importance.

She died two days later, and the newlywed husband stopped by the hospital chapel once again to give thanks for having been given such a wonderful opportunity.

Someone once said that those who persevere the most or work the hardest are also those that seem to be the luckiest...a lesson here?

Many times "luck" is the result of work and effort that has turned into opportunity... the more work and effort, the more opportunity there is for "luck" to "happen". Create your own luck today!

LUCK = Learning Understanding Consistency Knowledge

For most of us, luck has a way of finding those who make themselves available for it to happen. Those who are lucky are often those who work at making the opportunities happen that luck will strike. If you want to be lucky, you have to work at it...

Don't count on "luck" because luck doesn't count on you. Rely on yourself and your own capabilities...that is the best investment you can make...

On her way home from a hectic workday she lamented over her problems with her job and personal life. Everything seemed liked it was going wrong at once. She was enveloped in a cloud of worry when she noticed a small bluebird fluttering helplessly on the hot roadway, seemingly unable to get off the scorching pavement. She steered slightly left to pass over the bird and to avoid crushing it.

She looked in her rearview mirror and saw the poor creature trying fruitlessly to fly. Another car passed the bird, missing it only by inches. Finally she decided to turn around and go back to see what she could do. At least she could move it from the roadway to relative safety, she thought.

She stopped her car on the side of the road and proceeded toward the bluebird with a plastic lid from a fast food drink to scoop it up. When she reached down for the bird she noticed one of its wings had been broken, and it was bleeding. As she raised the bird to carry it she noticed one of its eyes opened and looked up at her as if to thank her. She took the bird and placed it beside her in the car and headed home. Upon arriving home she noticed the small bluebird had died, peacefully, and perhaps mercifully.

Her problems with work and home now seemed distant and not so important. This event now became a defining moment for her. She knew her future wasn't with her current job...her new found purpose would involve animals and the veterinary field.

Never under-estimate the power of seemingly small or insignificant events...they can be the seeds of our precious defining moments of life.

Opportunity and success are not doors to open, but mountains to climb. The mountains can be physical or mental. They can be real or imagined. The higher the mountain, the larger the opportunity for the greatest success...

The lottery of life will choose your destiny if you don't. The odds of circumstance will determine how you feel and how you act if you don't. Stack the odds in your favor by taking action upon action upon action to create your own destiny and to make your life your own.

Thoughts from the Pond
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