Opportunity or Obligation?

Opportunities Are Knocking

One of the things that seems to resonate with so many people in audiences where I speak is the question I ask, “Would you rather live a lifetime of opportunities or serve a life sentence of obligations?”

It is all in your attitude.

Frequently people take the events in their life and start viewing them as obligations rather than opportunities.

Opportunity Outlook

If you can change your viewpoint to an “Opportunity Outlook” your life will take on an entirely different perspective.

One day, many years ago, I was on my way to court on one of those nasty, snowy days. The roads were covered in slush, the windshield was being constantly pelted with globs of grey snow being kicked up from surrounding traffic and cars were sliding around the roads like pucks on an ice hockey rink.

I grumbled as I drove along making my way from St. Charles County to Clayton. Not only was driving a mess, walking in these conditions was not pleasant either. I was consoling myself as I drove along Olive Street Boulevard.

Oh, Poor Me!

I was really feeling sorry for myself having to do all of this in these conditions. Then I stopped at a red light.

When I looked to my right I saw two utility workers with shovels in their hands standing waste deep in a trench they were digging to repair some problem that had unexpectedly arisen. One of them took that moment to look up and our eyes met.

It was at that moment that it hit me. I could be in a much worse situation than I was. I didn’t have to be doing what I was doing. I had the “opportunity” to be doing it.

Ask Yourself

The next time you think about some event as an obligation stop and ask yourself if you really have to do it. Ask yourself if there is an opportunity in the event you just aren’t seeing. Think about the person who might be readily willing to change places with you and approach that event or task as an opportunity rather than an obligation.

It will not always be easy to re-frame every event but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. There really are opportunities all around you.

And suddenly your life sentence of obligations has been commuted and you find yourself living a life time of opportunities.