Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Opportunity - Recognising the Knock

Somewhere inside all of us is a little ‘something’ that can be quite difficult to define, but we certainly know it’s there. Call it intuition, an inner voice or a sixth sense, or whatever helps you to identify it, but it’s something we all have and it will come bubbling to the surface at the most odd times. It can be triggered by a word or a picture or an overheard snippet of conversation. It might call on you late at night or be waiting when you first open your eyes in the morning.

That sense - that intuition – is one of your most important gifts and it serves many purposes. It will tell you when something’s not right or when life is out of balance. It will often tell you who you can trust and who to avoid, but it can also tell you when something good is presenting itself to you and the trick is in recognising the opportunity for what it is. I don’t believe in sitting back and waiting for opportunity to come strolling past and knock on my door. I prefer to hang out a sign and invite it to come on in, or better still, to go out and look for it.
Recognising opportunity does not always come naturally. Sometimes the signs are so subtle we can miss them if we’re not allowing ourselves to be receptive.

The first step is to identify what it is that fires us up, what gets us excited, For example, when I look back over my life it’s pretty clear that writing has always been one of my passions. From when I was very young I read voraciously, wrote poetry and stories, created my own books and submitted poems to publications. Creative writing was my favourite school subject and I won the high school English prize.

In my adult life I had the fortune to work with volunteers and found yet another passion. This led me into my career in managing volunteer programs.

Having raised a young family on my own after my husband passed away taught me how to budget wisely and make the most of having very little, and because of this I was drawn into teaching these skills to others. I saw the opportunity to turn it into something positive that I could share, and while I feel in a way that I have been lucky in the paths my life has taken, I also know that my determination and drive helped me to see those paths clearly and take the opportunities as they were presented.  

Years ago I came across a quote by Rumi, who was a Muslim poet back in the thirteenth century.

“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.”

This has stayed with me and has influenced many of my important life decisions.

 So I urge you - be open to that inner voice or that sixth sense that stirs excitement in you when an opportunity presents itself. Think about the worst scenario that could happen if you took a chance, and if you can live with that scenario, then go for it. Step through the door and head on up the path.

Today’s activity: Take some quiet time to think about what silently draws you. What does your mind wander towards at the strangest times? What stirs excitement in you or gets your juices flowing. Could this be the path you are meant to follow?

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