virgin islands scene

Imagination is the eye of the soul.
-- Joseph Joubert


The MONTHLY Motivator - November 2006

Turning opportunity into achievement

Imagine standing in the middle of a large field of fertile farmland on a cool spring day. On the breeze you catch the earthy scent of the rich soil that surrounds you. The bright sun shines overhead as clouds drift through the sky.

You look around, and realize that you are standing on a big piece of opportunity. Yet in order for the opportunity of that field to be realized, someone must plow the ground, plant the seeds, nurture and protect the plants that grow, harvest the crop and transport it to market. Having access to the field is a great opportunity. Even so, time and effort are needed to make something of value out of that opportunity.

Every true opportunity is that way. Opportunity is an important part of the equation that creates value, and yet it is not the only part. Opportunity plus time and persistence equals value.

Like the air you breathe, opportunity is all around you. Just as the air you breathe is essential to your staying alive, opportunity is an essential part of success. Yet to stay alive you need more than just air, and to achieve success you need more than just opportunity. Opportunity is the starting point. It is a challenge to be met.

It takes time, effort and focus to move from opportunity to achievement. Having an opportunity is great, and yet to have any meaning or value the opportunity must be pursued until the achievement is reached.

We often hear situations referred to as “ground floor” opportunities. In fact, every opportunity is a ground floor opportunity. Every opportunity is a chance to create value where none existed before. Most of the time, the term “ground floor” opportunity is used to give the impression of inevitability. If you’ll just join in, the thinking goes, you can ride along to fame and fortune. In reality, the realization of an opportunity is never that easy.

Opportunity does not represent a foregone conclusion. Opportunity does not automatically lead to reward. When you have an opportunity you are at the beginning of the process. You must add your own effort and persistence to that opportunity in order for the opportunity to be fully realized.

You are living in a time of unprecedented opportunity. In the entire history of our civilization there has never before been a moment when so many people have had access to as much opportunity as you do right now. It is truly an amazing time to be alive. And it is a challenging time to be alive, because an essential part of opportunity is challenge. Some of the biggest opportunities come from the most serious problems. The real challenge is to see the opportunities that exist in those problems, and to take the steps which will bring those opportunities to fruition.

To continue reading this member-only content, please log in if you are a current subscriber/member, or if you’re not already a member, you can join today for an annual price of just $15 and get immediate access to the full text of this article and many others, plus additional member-only content such as downloadable audio programs and e-books. If you’re not ready to join right now, we invite you to look through our extensive archive of more than 6,000 shorter daily messages, which are fully available for everyone to read.

--Ralph Marston

More Monthly Motivators...