“Opportunity” they say, “knocks but once”. How true is it that you and I only have just one chance to do something important or profitable? This is discouraging.
Heraclitus the philosopher said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice…”. This is arguably a white lie. We are pushed by this belief towards making hasty decisions in difficult situations or losing hope too early.
Haven’t people risen to prominent positions in their chosen careers after failing many times? Haven’t people taken the so called one-time chance and received a cold embrace from disappointment?
We all have god-given talents which can be developed to achieve greatness without reliance on fast or delayed opportunities. We only need to find and nurture it.
In essence, there are opportunities within and around us. Desire, Motivation, Determination and Commitment all come in handy when we compare how we have fared in relation to success and opportunities. “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek”.
Only the feeble minds rely on this saying, “Opportunity knocks but once”, in order to accommodate failure and lose hope on many greater chances which is always there staring at us.
Mental dwarves find it very easy to accept that there are less or no opportunities around without looking inside themselves. There are lots of opportunity inside each and everyone of us.
Take a look at these people who were just like every other person before they met success. They wouldn’t be known today and history would have erased their names if they didn’t fight hard enough to leave their footprints on the sands of time.
- Henry Ford: We remember Henry Ford in the world today for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars. In his early years of the struggle for success, he had disappointments and failures. He wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses attempts were fruitless. Consequently, we became bankrupt before he successfully founded the now prestigious Ford Motor Company.
- Soichiro Honda: He was a Japanese engineer and industrialist. The multi-million dollar business that is Honda Company started with a history of failed attempts before luck smiled on him. Mr. Honda was rejected after an interview by Toyota Motor Corporation for an engineering job. He stayed jobless for a long period of time before he started making bicycles and scooters of his own at home. It was the encouragement and support he received from family and neighbors that motivated him to start a personal business which later became a success.
- Bill Gates: Named “William Henry Bill Gates, is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, and computer programmer. Looking at his educational background, he must have been underestimated as a failure. After dropping out of Harvard University, one would have thought his name would never be attached to success stories but hell yeah! He did it. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company
Scientists and Thinkers
- Albert Einstein: “Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. Einstein’s work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science”. Most of us believe that Albert Einstein’s name is synonymous with wizardry. In real life, we wasn’t much of a genius. Einstein did not speak like every other growing kid until he was four. He could not read until he was seven. These events caused his teachers and parents to think that he was mentally ill. He was also thought to be very slow and anti-social. As fate would have it, he was expelled from school and was rejected for admission into Zurich Polytechnic School. It was, for him, quite a long road to success but it is heart-warming to know that in the end, he won the Nobel Prize and forever changed the image and understanding of modern physics. Most of his scientific works are still considered to be valid and true till this day.
- Charles Darwin: Though he is referred to as a child of wealth due his wealthy background, he did find the fire within him after many failed attempts by his father to cajole him into studying medicine. He chose to study nature. This led him to a 5-year voyage around the world during which he collected various samples of animals, birds and fossils for his research and experimentation. According to Charles, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” It will be right to say that the people around him hastily judged. Charles Darwin is today remembered for his works and research on nature.
- Isaac Newton: He was born prematurely on a Christmas Day, 25 December, 1943. His birth came just three months after his father’s death who was a prosperous farmer, also named Isaac Newton. His mother remarried when he was three and left him to the care of his maternal grandmother. Later, he went back to his mother who was without husband, for a second time. His mother tried to make a farmer out of him but he hated farming. This was the beginning of his subsequent wondrous exploits in science.
The list of success stories that came from very poor and unthinkable pasts are too numerous to mention. Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson are few examples.
They succeeded after they failed over and over again but kept trying because they believed in the most important opportunity which could only be created by themselves, their mind-sets.
You will never appreciate success if you never failed at something.
We live in a world where perfection is celebrated and mediocrity is frowned at but “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” Students are mocked for failing at examinations; teachers are blamed for not doing enough; businessmen complain about lack of capital; and workers are saddened by lack of opportunity for growth. Instead of trading blames or giving excuses, stand up and fight the common enemy within you which is “discouragement”.
Do not look down on yourself.
“Great opportunities come to all but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them is simple fidelity to what each day brings.” We are responsible to only ourselves for either struggling to achieving success by trial and error or accepting that we are good-for-nothing.
Well, it makes those who read the bible feel better with themselves knowing that “the godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked”. (Proverbs 24:16)
On your way to Greatness, take with you Godliness, Kindness, Love and above all, PRAYERS. These work hand in hand with Desire, Motivation, Determination and Commitment
“Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem an turned it into an opportunity.”
Listen to the small voice inside you and follow your dreams.