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“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky

Are you a good decision-maker?  Have you ever had to decide whether to jump at an opportunity, be patient for a different one, or leave one alone altogether? Isn’t it so tough?

Today’s post is about exactly that.  I love Gretzky’s quote, as it seems to be a perfect complement to my week.  Just go for it! I love that sensation – you know, the one you get when you experience something new?

 

Just “Go For It”

While I was on the Costa Brava this past week, I think this was the motto.  If you follow my Instagram you know that I’ve recently started posting again, starting with coastal pictures.  There were many opportunities to relax, enjoy the sun, and to try watersports, which I’ve always wanted to be able to do.

So, despite only just becoming comfortable with swimming, I took the plunge.  We tried paddleboarding – and I have to say it was one of the best opportunities I’ve had.  To see what my swimming struggles and one year of lessons + dedicated practice have done.

Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you just go for it?

What To Do About Missed Opportunities

Truthfully, I think the best action we can take to recover from missed opportunities is to not repeat our mistakes. To think of what we’ve learned from our last missed opportunity, and carry it into our next decision. This is so hard to do objectively!

Here’s what I do:

I usually poll about five of my friends for their opinion on the decision I took. It’s amazing how many different perspectives there can be on one situation. By the way, be sure to ask your friends separately, so there’s no space for “groupthink”.  Then, collect all the perspectives and think about what you can learn from all of them. 

So, how can you be ready for the next great opportunity that arises?

3 Ways To Be Ready For Great Opportunities

 

Remember: seemingly impossible situations can be seen as opportunities, too.

1.  Find The Positive Part (and The Lesson)Motivational Monday 66 Opportunity

Okay, I know it sounds like I’m speaking about an idyllic world, but I truly believe this works. Every time something negative happens, it’s not just that I look for the positive part.  I look for the lesson.

What have I learned from this particular experience? Then, write it down somewhere – a journal, a notebook, a memo on your Evernote. That way it’ll be there when you need it.

That’s right! (Can you tell I’m a teacher?).

 

 

 

2. Stop Over-analyzing the Opportunities

Or the actions.  Or the thoughts, words, or feelings.

Okay, I’m guilty of this one in certain aspects of my life! Sometimes, you need to throw away your thoughts about what other people think, or even what you think you should do. Instead, follow your heart and do what you think is right.

That’s my motto for this week!

 

3. Read to Expand Your Ideas

Motivational Monday 91 Read

What’s the last eye-opening book you read? The last one I read was called The Four Tendencies (read my post about this personality framework if you’re interested).

It’s fun to try out a new theory or idea and see how it fits into your life.  It can also help you see the opportunities you may not have seen without it.

For example:

Instead of criticizing people for their actions, the Four Tendencies framework helped me understand why they might be acting in a way that’s totally different to the way I would. So, it was an opportunity to learn more about others.

 

 

What Experts Say About Decision-Making

How do you make decisions, and make sure you take advantage of opportunities in front of you?  I decided to compile a few ideas I found around the web for you to consider.

  • Confront Your Default Behaviour –  This is the one idea that stuck out for me, from this Lifehacker article with 4 Decision Making Ideas.   It’s basically the idea that we tend to make all our decisions in the same way. We should simply consider a different perspective and why someone would act the way they do before deciding how we act.
  • Listen To Your Intuition –   An article on The Muse suggests that after making a Pros and Cons list, you should simply sit and think for a few minutes, without the list. Identify the feelings that come up when you consider each option, and go with your gut. I have to admit, as “unscientific” as this is and as “illogical” as it seems, I kind of like it.
  • “Negative Drivers” –  I’d never heard this term before, but I like it. It’s from the same Muse article as above.  Are you making a decision based on an emotion such as fear? Try to identify the “negative drivers” in your life that may be leading you to make a decision.  What would you decide without this “driver”?

Well, that’s today’s post on opportunities!

What opportunities have you taken lately? Are there any missed opportunities you’ve learned from? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Have a lovely and productive Monday!

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P.S. Photo fans, the main image from this week’s post (and poster!) is one I took last week on the Costa Brava, Girona, Spain.


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