I was reading about Dr. Maxwell Martz, the American surgeon, who wrote several articles and books on the power of our self-image. Dr. Martz’s system of ideas was the frontrunner of the popular self-help books.  I began thinking about what causes some people, more than others, to take advantage of opportunities.


Have you given much thought about the opportunities that exist in your life?  You’ve heard the old adage about opportunity knocking on your door but I believe it’s more the other way around. Although we are surrounded with more opportunities for advancement in life than we could ever act on, we typically don't live life from the perspective that we've got unlimited options but we really do.

While it is relatively easy to get people to agree that there is an abundance of opportunities for success of all kinds in the world today, their actions often tell a completely different story.  They tend to wait until a sure thing comes looking for them.  Just how many times does that happen?

Most people live life much too timidly or defensively and won’t step forward to grasp an opportunity.  They can’t bring themselves to take actions that prepare them for the opportunities. They somehow think that the purpose of life is to make it safely to retirement and then death; however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s think about this concept in relation to a sporting event such as hockey, football, or basketball.  What if there were no offense, only defense?  Certainly the game of life is not much different in these sporting events.  A strong defense is definitely required to protect us from the all challenges that come our way, but we can never hope to win big in life without a commitment to a good offense.

When I think about opportunity, I often think of the opposing forces of offense and defense as they relate to sports. Certainly there are opportunities to take advantage of when playing defense, but again the big wins in life are more often gained when playing offense.  Seizing an opportunity whether it be in sports or in life, usually requires taking bold new steps into the unknown which many of us don’t wish to confront.

Most experts say the primary reason why many people don't pursue their dreams is fear.  Fear of the unknown and what might happen if they take advantage of an opportunity and it doesn't work out.  If we are totally honest, we're all a little bit frightened of the unknown but I find it interesting the most successful, happy, and fulfilled people we meet in life have transformed their fear into excitement for what they can build for themselves.

Achieving all of our goals and dreams for the future requires us to confront the unknown and take advantage of the opportunities that come our way. I believe it's best to be bold rather than timid as we make these steps toward confrontation.

Definitely being bold doesn't mean being careless or acting without intelligent thinking and planning. However, don't over-analyze your life, either personally or professionally, or try to protect yourself from every little thing. The truth is that you are bigger than anything that could ever happen to you so don't pass up a great opportunity out of just plain fear. Sometimes in life you've got to feel the fear and do it anyway when the opportunity is right for you.  Bottom line, don’t fear the unknown but confront it and seize the opportunities which await you!

Dr. Martz said, "What is opportunity, and when does it knock? It never knocks. You can wait a whole lifetime, listening, hoping, and you will hear no knocking. None at all, you are the opportunity, and you must knock on the door leading to your destiny. You prepare yourself to recognize opportunity, to pursue and seize opportunity as you develop the strength of your personality, and build a self-image with which you are able to live with your self-respect alive and growing."

Think about it.