Opportunities Are Everywhere… Are You Taking Them?
No doubt careful planning is important to reach our goals but you can’t foresee everything. Sometimes things go completely out of the plan and you face “surprises”. It’s best to keep your mind open and your plan flexible because a thriving business is all about seizing opportunities, no matter how unexpected they may be.
When something interferes our well-designed plan, we often tend to pull back and think: should I take this opportunity? Is it worth the risk? And unfortunately, most of us let the opportunity slip by because we feel they are nothing more than problems.
Here is a short story by Derek Huether called “Green Eggs and Ham are….” that gives a great example of how we fear opportunities and avoid them.
Last night I read Green Eggs and Ham to my Son. If you don’t know the story, Sam offers Green Eggs and Ham to an unnamed character. Sam looks for different opportunities and scenarios where the character may enjoy the green eggs and ham. But the character adamantly states he does not like them: “I will not eat them here or there. I will not eat them anywhere!”
The character finally laments and tries the green eggs and ham. Guess what? He likes them. He likes them a lot! All of a sudden, he realised all of the scenarios Sam recommended really are perfect opportunities to enjoy green eggs and ham.
So, what are green eggs and ham? I think they are ideas and opportunities. Yes, the same ones your colleagues had that got shot down. The same ones you had but were also dismissed. It’s Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or some other approach the customer has never tried before, therefore, they don’t even want to try it.
Next time someone has an idea or opportunity, try it! Try it! And you may deliver value in that way.
3 steps to being more flexible and embrace opportunities
To become more psychologically flexible, it’s important to learn to accept negative emotions and experiences, rather than try to control or eliminate them. This is a healthier way to approach the complexities of human life and make better decisions.
#2. Be Curious
Curiosity allows you to observe negative reactions without judgment and see what you can learn from them.
When your mind is free from resisting your negative emotions, it’s easier to commit to the right actions or behaviours that will lead you towards your goal.
Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and take risks you were not expecting to take. And always remember that’s not the size of the opportunity that matters and small opportunities often lead to bigger opportunities in the future. So be open and take advantage when the moment arrives.