When I’m walking around a shop looking at all the shiny things or flicking through the ads in a magazine, my companion sometimes asks me whether I’d like that new book/an iPad/a pair of Louboutins/a KitchenAid mixer/a converted shepherd’s hut which would live quite happily at the top of my garden, beckoning me to come and write a bestseller. My usual response is ‘well, I wouldn’t mind winning one but I don’t think I’d spend my money on it.’
It would appear that I’d actually quite like these things but not enough to save up the money and go and buy them. My personality type leads me to believe that such purchases are not thoroughly justified and therefore I shouldn’t expend my resources on acquiring them. If I really wanted them, presumably I would just get on with it, whether it was just a question of forgoing a couple of posh coffees in order to buy the book or working out a savings plan to generate the money for a shepherd’s hut. The truth is that those items simply aren’t important enough to me to be worth the effort.
My attitude reminds me of this quote:
‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’ Thomas Edison
Whilst it may be true that sometimes an opportunity falls into our lap and we need do nothing other than accept it, much more often we will have to make an effort to turn an opportunity into a reality.
A friend of mine, Aimee, has been given the chance to compete in the Olympic distance Virgin Active London this year as a member of Team Triathlon Plus. She’s being provided with some very cool kit and fantastic expert advice but that alone isn’t going to get her over the finishing line. Aimee’s having to put in the physical and mental effort to turn this opportunity into an achievable goal.
Imagine that you see an ad for a job which looks perfect for you. It’s unlikely that you will open your post the next day and find a letter saying ‘hey, we were advertising this job and you just popped into our minds: would you like it?’ Even with an internal vacancy or if you’ve been head-hunted for an interview, it’s not usually a done deal that you’ll be given the role. You need to polish up your CV, work on a presentation, maybe role play the interview, read up on the company: in short, you’ll need to do some work.
Today’s pebble for you to contemplate:
Are you missing an opportunity to achieve one of your goals because it’s ‘dressed in overalls and looks like work’? What steps do you need to take?
What do you think?
(Incidentally, dear readers, if you ever see a competition in which I could win a converted shepherd’s hut, please let me know!)
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?