The word “coach” comes from Kocs, Hungary where they developed a carriage for transporting people from where they are to where they want to be. I use this journey metaphor with clients who are experiencing a transition in life. Such movement or progression is influenced by awareness of where you are, the knowledge of where you want to go, and the attitude and skills you carry with you. But, as we all know, certain travel delays are beyond our control.
“We plan and G-d laughs.” ~ Anonymous
Many people are of the opinion that “everything happens for a reason,” that “there are no coincidences,” and that “we make our own luck.” I’m not one of those people. I believe that random things happen because there are billions of people on this planet traveling different paths at different speeds with conflicting intentions, attitudes and aptitude. We can either see obstacles that ruin our journey or we can find opportunities for growth and alternate routes.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
Think of a time in your life when you were on a path heading in a specific direction and something happened to interrupt your plan. Did you continue to pursue the intended outcome, or did you “let it go” and create a new strategy? Now think of a time when you made the opposite decision. Either reaction is a viable option and brings its own set of possibilities and limitations. That is why I think dwelling on missed opportunities is a waste of time. The choices we make are based on the information (and emotions) available to us in that moment. Hindsight is 20/20 and we don’t know what we don’t know.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ~ Helen Keller.
What one can regret is not creating or seizing opportunity when it shows up. Often new possibilities are missed because we are so busy following our map and focusing on our destination that we forget the values that motivated the journey. We say we want to travel so that we can see different sights, but we often neglect to look out the window when the plane takes off or the train leaves the station. We push ourselves to succeed at work so that we can have more time and money to do the things we want, but we spend our free evenings and weekends doing or thinking about work.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~ Winston Churchill
Often obstacles in our path ultimately work to our advantage after we, like our GPS, recalculate. Yet many opportunities can be created by proactively traveling outside our comfort zone and taking the leap to pursue a new path. A healthy attitude and good skills will help you maintain a steady pace, but sometimes it is the risks that you take when you explore new territory that can transform your journey into an adventure.
“If you prepare yourself…you will b able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.
Whether opportunities arrive out of unexpected circumstances or conscious choice they are what we make of them. So, hop into the driver’s seat and remember that there is only a small mirror to see behind you and a huge windshield to look ahead.
If you would like some company on your journey, I have an opportunity for you. I’m offering three months of coaching services for $500. (That’s over a $200 savings of my regular rates. Sign up by April 30, 2013.) Contact me for information and/or a complimentary coaching session (stacey@theCoach4you.com).
REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS ON OPPORTUNITY…
* What is your relationship to/ perspective on opportunity?
* What opportunities have you seized in the past?
* What was a missed opportunity? How do you feel about it now?
* What opportunities do you or have you provided for others?
* What opportunity can you create for yourself this week?