I saw a segment the other day on the Today Show about White House Press Corp journalist, Helen Thomas. She said, “I think every President could have done better. I think it’s about missed opportunities.”
This brought about some reflection for me and I am hoping it wil for you, as well.
How complacent have you grown about your own life? Do you ever contemplate how you could have improved on past actions, but without berating yourself? What might you have done differently? If you reviewed your previous journeys, what would you learn from your experiences?
Did you once have big dreams, hopes and goals? Have you buried your dreams under piles of invoices or work orders on your desk, or at the bottom of your children’s toy box? Have you accepted your current level of performance, or ethical behavior, or low inspiration and outcomes as simply the cost of growing older? Do you tell yourself that life just requires settling and giving in to the status quo for the sake of bringing home a paycheck and for survival? Do you set standards you can take pride in and do you live according to your standards? Are your days filled with decisions of integrity and confidence or are they cluttered with choices of insecurity and compromise?
What about your passions? Do they come seething up, only to have you push them down quickly with a plunger of worry and fear? Do you even remember or recognize your passions?
We can all do better. Believing this doesn’t mean putting impossible pressure on ourselves. It doesn’t mean not acknowledging our own accomplishments and feeling proud of them. It’s a question of being open to new possibilities and of finding them in unexpected places. Observe a baby or toddler and watch the glint in the child’s eye as he or she discovers a new opportunity for exploration, fun, or just plain getting into mischief. We can view each day, each triumph, and even each mistake or action in which we perceive we have somehow fallen short, as a great opportunity to revise our internal scripts and to put in place some changes that will improve our performance and our relationships, and maybe even the world!
Can you make a list of opportunities that came your way in the past year that you took advantage of to make changes?
What about these changes turned out really good?
Did the changes create further opportunities?
How did you recognize or discover the opportunities?
Even if you did not then recognize them, can you recognize now what opportunities were created?
Did these changes help to bring your life into alignment with who you used to be, or who you really want to be?
If not, is there something you would like to do about this?
If you took a chance and allowed yourself to see new opportunities and they did not work, could you still find something positive that emerged from your having tried?
Is there someone or something who/that would help you change your patterns and help you learn to see opportunity and possibility more easily?
Now think about opportunities you might have missed, or know for sure you did miss.
Why do you believe you missed them?
Are there stories you have written in your head about how you need to live that kept you from seeing the opportunities?
If you are so busy listening to the beat of the music that bounces all around you, that you can’t hear your internal beat and rhythm, you may not be able to find opportunities that are calling out softly, rather than shouting. Sometimes these turn out to be the best and brightest ones with the most promise. Is it time to turn inward enough to listen to the words and rhythms that are uniquely you and that will open you up to a life in which you truly achieve your potential? I guarantee you will find many more fresh and positive opportunities you never before thought existed.