Why People Miss Opportunities
There’s a place I was to be at on Friday and Saturday and since in my mind I knew I’d be there for those two days, I chose to not have my car cleaned at home so that I can have the cleaning done there. When I got to this place on Friday, I found the guy I wanted to clean the car busy cleaning other cars but since I knew I was going to be there the next day, when the time came for me to leave I decided to leave with the car as it was because I thought he’d be there the next day.
Just so you know, this is not a carwash joint but it’s a place where the security guys clean cars for the customers who visit the businesses in that area. So it was a shock to me when I got there the next day which was Saturday, only to find that the guy I’m used to was not on duty that day. Someone else was, and I didn’t feel comfortable asking him to clean my car. Of course I regretted why I hadn’t ask the other guy to clean the car for me the previous day, but it was too late for regrets.
What do they say about missed opportunities? There are many sayings on this but the one I want to dwell on is one I've coined myself. It says, “Once you miss an opportunity it never comes around again, especially not when you need it to”. The unfortunate this is that once an opportunity is missed, it can easily cause some negative effects in someone’s journey to success.
Read on to see how.
For instance, assuming that you were supposed to fly to the Maldives for a much needed holiday, then you missed your flight for whatever reason, (justified or not), you might end up taking a later flight which will definitely interrupt your plans and budget. Actually, I decided to check how often there are flights to Maldives from Dar Es Salaam, and realized that you only get a flight once a day. This means if you miss your flight today you have to wait another 24 hours before you can get another flight. This means that if there was a specific corporate activity you were going to be part of at the Maldives, you will end up missing out on those activities just because you got late.
In the same way airplanes don't wait for anybody, opportunities wait for no one either. Once you miss it you've missed it and have to take the next one, assuming the time you have to wait for your next opportunity won’t be too long. Once it is time to take off nobody can stop the airplane from taking off, unless it’s the weather man or the control tower, and for good reasons too.
Many of us miss opportunities in life for very unreasonable reasons. For instance not being ready, or being afraid of making a move into unknown areas, or simply being lazy.
There is a famous saying that luck is when opportunity meets preparedness, which means ill luck is when opportunity meets unpreparedness. If for instance an opportunity comes up that requires someone to have a driving license and a passport, where the person is supposed to submit the application within three days, guess what happens to someone who doesn’t have those very crucial documents? The opportunity passes them. Then guess what he or she will be saying, that s/he is cursed. Who cursed them? The gods of unpreparedness? It matters a lot how prepared you are in your quest for success. You can’t be going around looking for opportunities that you are not prepared for. Again I repeat, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness”, and when that happens, what is conceived in that instance is something major. No amount of going to mganga wa kienyeji to give you dawa ya kupata bahati will change your "luck" if you are not prepared for the opportunities that come your way. Don't even bother.
Regarding missing opportunities because of fear, imagine what would have happened to you if you had feared falling when you were still a toddler and learning how to walk. Does it mean you would still be crawling today? Can you picture yourself crawling in your 40s, not because you are lame or disabled, but simply because you were/are afraid of walking? Unfortunately we have very many people living among us who are crawling in other areas of their lives. Why? Because after they fell (failed) the first time they attempted to walk (a business venture) they became fearful of trying again. Everyone who ever succeeded had some fears in them. The difference is that they didn’t let that fear consume them. I like what Mark Twain said; “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity in your life because of fear. Like Joyce Meyer says, “Do it afraid!”
Let’s talk about losing opportunities because of laziness. You know what spurs laziness on? Lack of motivating goals. Anthony Robbins says, “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals, i.e. goals that do not inspire them". If you have a goal that inspires you so much, guess what you will do about it? You will do whatever it takes to achieve it. The more you become active to do the stuff that brings you closer to achieving your dream, the more inspired you become to achieve your dream no matter what. You want to be successful? Here’s something you need to know; “Success is not easy and it is certainly not for the lazy”.
I just missed an opportunity to have my car cleaned and that made me wish I had done it while I had the opportunity. But let me tell you something, a year from now you will wish you had started doing the things you wanted to do today. Why? Because there are some opportunities available today that will not be there a month or two from now. There are certain conducive elements that will not be there for you that time. Whatever you want to do you'd better do it now.
I don’t know in what area of your life you have missed opportunities due to laziness, or fear or just plain unpreparedness. I suggest you self-evaluate and do what you need to do in order to ensure that from this moment going forward you will not miss out on any more opportunities. Better still, evaluate yourself and see why you keep missing opportunities. There has to be something more definite than “curses” that's causing you to miss out on great opportunities. There has to be something you did or didn’t do to cause you to miss an opportunity. Be honest with yourself and identify what it was/is then work on avoiding a repeat performance.
Allow me to end my article today by quoting one Ernest Agymang Yeboah:
“We yearn for opportunities, we pray for opportunities and we seek for opportunities. The good news is that we meet opportunities. The bad news is that we miss the opportunities only to come to a later realization of missed opportunities.”
Face your fears, let go of your laziness and be prepared to meet the next opportunities in line for you.
Be Ignited. Be Inspired. Be Influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.
PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 9th July, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words". However, in this version I've uploaded here there are some additions that were not there in the article submitted to the Guardian.