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  • Writer's pictureKarl Walker-Finch

3 steps to mastering your opportunities

Opportunities are available everywhere. They present themselves to everyone all the time but we’re often too focused on what we’re doing to see them.

When people are considered lucky for getting and taking an opportunity, often luck has nothing to do with it. Richard Wiseman has written a whole book on this very subject, called “The Luck Factor” but really it’s nothing to do with luck. I wrote about luck a few months ago and this kind of follows on from that blog.

If you were involved in one of Prof Wiseman's studies, you would take the luck questionnaire to establish whether you considered yourself generally lucky or unlucky (or in the middle, but this study focussed on those at the upper and lower limits of luck). You’d later be told to go and get a coffee at the nearby cafe. What you would not be told is that en route, just outside the cafe, there’d be a fiver on the floor. You can see where this is heading. The participants who considered themselves lucky would often spot the note and go bag themselves a free coffee. The unlucky ones didn't.

There are three steps to mastering your opportunities:

  1. Learn to spot the opportunities as they arise

  2. Learn how to say yes to them

  3. Learn when to say no

You can walk around with your eyes closed, unprepared for any opportunity that may come your way, whether it's £5 on the floor or the opportunity to work with someone who may help you move up to your next level. Or, you can treat every day as a new opportunity, to treat every interaction as a new chance to meet someone interesting, to enjoy every walk in the park as a chance to enjoy our beautiful planet.

Accept the opportunities when you get them. There are many opportunities out there and they multiply like compound interest, take advantage of one opportunity and it will often lead to two more.

Finally, when you feel yourself reaching saturation point and only then, you have to learn the hardest skill which is identifying which opportunities to say no to. Most people never make it to step 3.

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