When Opportunity Knocks…

…do you even recognize it as an opportunity? Or are you just annoyed by the distraction?

A couple of years ago, I experienced job loss. And that got me distracted. Okay, let me be honest. I was beyond distracted. I was…what? Pissed off? Hurt? Lost? Scared? Yeah. All of those things.

I didn’t view that particular life change as an opportunity. I saw it as calamitous and disastrous.

But my neighbor, Debbie, saw it as an opportunity for me to spend some time beautifying the outside of my house.

So I beautified the outside of my house with her help.

And my children saw it as an opportunity to spend time together, making up for all of the years I was on the road and gone when they were young.

So I spent time with my children and had a great summer getting closer to them than I had in years.

And my waistband saw an opportunity to reduce so that I could, say, see my toes again when I looked straight down.

So I spent time at the gym and finally could see that I had 5 toes on each foot. They were ugly toes, but they were all there. And I could finally see them for myself.

Then my buddy, Sam, saw an opportunity for me to do some writing, suggesting that I submit an article or two to his magazine.

So I wrote a few articles, and I found that I didn’t completely hate writing. In fact, I found it cathartic.

Sam’s editor, Jocelyn, told me that she rather liked my writing. And she suggested I use some of my new-found free time as an opportunity to write my book, something I had wanted to do for years.

So I wrote one. And it was fun. So with Jocelyn’s help, I wrote another. And another. And another.

Then I remembered another buddy, Craig, telling me years ago that I was wasting my talent working inside one company. He suggested I find opportunities to get out and do more public speaking and consulting.

So once I had no reason to not take the risk, I printing some business cards, tapped into some smart friends, and started my own business. And I found that I rather liked it.

While all of this was happening, I kept hearing this noise in the background. And it was very distracting. The noise was keeping me from being able to get good and pissed off, hurt, lost and scared. Because at some point, the noise took on a regular beat and rhythm, one that sounded a lot like opportunity knocking.

I got so busy getting busy, that I missed out on the opportunity to relish my utter misery.

And for that, I thank God. He helped me hear the knock and recognize it over time as an opportunity and not a sign that He hated my guts. And just a couple of years later, my entire outlook has transformed. Today, I love what I do, I have deeper and richer relationships than I could ever imagine, I know my kids and actually like them, and I don’t need an alarm clock to shoot out of bed each morning.

That knocking you’ve been hearing may be a pesky woodpecker at work on a tree near your ears. Or it may be an opportunity waiting for you to listen.

Are you ready?


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