When Opportunity Knocks
There’s the old saying that a new door opens when another door closes. But how do you know whether a new door has actually opened and whether you should actually walk through that new doorway to whatever lies beyond. Sometimes real opportunities are difficult to assess. You need to take time to ask yourself the right questions to decide whether a true opportunity is knocking.
1. Will this opportunity meet my current goals? First you must know your current goals. If you don’t, then take a little time to think about what they are. Make sure you have your current goals in mind when looking at possible opportunities. Decide how this potential opportunity will help you meet those goals.
2. Is the opportunity something that really interests me today? No matter how great an opportunity seems, if it isn’t something of interest to you, something you can be passionate about doing, then it isn’t the right fit for you at the moment.
3. Am I being realistic or idealistic? Look at the opportunity for what it is. Don’t make it into something that it isn’t. If you get caught up in dreaming about what it should be rather than what it really is, then you will become disappointed with the “opportunity” very quickly.
4. Is the time right for this opportunity? Realizing opportunities is truly a timing thing. Is it the right time in your life to take on this opportunity? No time is perfect, but all things considered does it feel right.
5. What can I handle at this point in time? Look at your whole life picture. Are family and kids taking up your spare time? Are you taking care of aging parents? Are other needs taking up more and more of your time? Can you juggle this new opportunity with your current obligations?
6. Will I have time left for me? There is always the need for “me” time. Make sure you aren’t going to overwhelm your life by taking on more than you can realistically handle. Don’t lose your own inner peace by stretching too far beyond your own comfort zone.
7. Am I being honest with myself? By taking this opportunity will I be going in a direction I ultimately want to go. Is it a positive step for me?
8. Does this opportunity fit with my priorities? We all have a set of priorities that guide us through our life. Yes, these priorities change from time to time. A true opportunity will meet one or more of your current priorities.
9. Am I using this opportunity as a surrogate? Am I taking on this opportunity to fix something else that I’m unhappy with in my life. Taking on this opportunity won’t solve other unrelated problems in your life. Don’t look for an opportunity to solve unrelated issues in your life.
10. Should I pass up the opportunity? It’s always OK to turn down an opportunity if you don’t feel comfortable. Don’t force an opportunity to fit if it just isn’t going to work.
Just because you come across something doesn’t mean it is an opportunity for you at this moment in time. Perceived opportunities come and go. Real opportunities are all about the right fit at the right time.