Knock. Knock Knock. KNOCK KNOC KNOCK! We all know the great saying “opportunity knocking”; for the longest time I was convinced I was either at the grocery store or in the shower when that all too elusive sound arrived. This past week, I learned a very interesting lesson. Sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock – it whispers. And if you’re not careful and not true to yourself, you might miss it.
This last weekend was the closing weekend at the Haunted House at which I volunteer (www.bloodview.net – if you didn’t go this year, I expect to see you there next season); it was also our annual cast party, at which you never really know what you’re going to find. To say it was interesting would be an understatement. Even more interesting are the things I learned (both about myself and others). Sorry, kittens... I won’t be getting into specifics about all the debauchery I found myself in, but I will share with you what I learned about our good friend, Opportunity.
In the spirit of full honesty, I nearly didn’t attend the cast party. I hadn’t been feeling all that well throughout that day, and I wasn’t really “up” for trying to play nice with everyone (we all know I have a problem with playing nice). It’s not that I don’t like the people I haunt with – they are a second family to me, some of my best friends, and a group of people that know things about me that would make my “normal” friends cringe. Yet, they still love and accept me for whom and what I am (even if I am a freak – PS this is not a bad thing). It’s simply the social scene takes a lot of effort on my part. As people friendly as I may seem, I’m not always an overly social being; especially around people I don’t know well. Couple that with the way I had been feeling over the past several months, and I pictured myself holed up in one of the multitude of hiding spaces in the house, listening to my music and hiding from everyone.
I decided, however, to give it a go; mostly because I had been reminded by someone that if you don’t take a chance once in a while, nothing will ever change. And we all know I needed a change.
My biggest lesson of the weekend? If you continue to wait for Opportunity to knock you’ll find yourself constantly in the house baking cookies and never out experiencing life. That’s because Opportunity doesn’t always knock, sometimes it whispers... and expects you to be still and listen carefully. Sometimes Opportunity expects you to just BE YOURSELF, do what you usually do and allow that to draw others to you. Sometimes Opportunity demands you to be bold and see what happens. Opportunity did all of those things for me, and has left me with my head spinning a little (no, not physically) and looking forward to my next social outing.
So, enough about me; I’ve been way too selfish lately with the whole ‘whoa is me’ thing. Let’s talk about YOU and how these little lessons can benefit you.
Lesson 1: Listen Carefully
Opportunity doesn’t usually just scream your name, bang on your door and get your attention. The problem is, many times that’s exactly what we are expecting. We live our lives, stuck in our ruts and wondering when things are going to change. All the while, Opportunity is whispering in our ear to “check out that new restaurant” “accept the invite” or “just go dancing”. That small, nearly inaudible voice that we ignore because we don’t like EVERYONE that will be at the party, or we don’t like eating alone, or a million other reasons, refuses to scream. That little voice, when listened to, will provide us the chances we’ve been searching for all along.
So take a breath, listen to what it’s saying and seriously consider the possibilities. When you do, new and interesting people appear in your life. Things happen. Life blossoms and provides you something to finally smile about. Trust me on this, I’m nearly an expert.
Lesson 2: Find and BE Yourself
Easier said than done, I know. The hardest part of the lesson is realizing that WHO are you is acceptable and to accept it as a truth. There are many, many different people in this world, and we are all valuable, loveable, acceptable beings. Just because we don’t fit comfortably into a social standard, something “normal” or other such label we deem acceptable doesn’t mean that we aren’t a wonderful person with incredible things to offer in the right situation. Self reflection, self admiration and self acceptance are the keys – very difficult keys, but keys nonetheless.
Now that you know WHO you are, BE that person. Be true to yourself, covering up what you are simply because it makes another person uncomfortable is only going to make you miserable. The hard part is finding the right person or people that accept you and allow you to be that person. When you find them, don’t let them go; keep them in your life and embrace the blessing. Trust me, it IS a blessing. Yes, there will always be times where you have to morph yourself a bit to fit into a social situation or group, but don’t let that change who you are; be true to yourself and find a way to let yourself be YOU.
When you know who you are, and you truly are THAT person, the Opportunities will be less difficult to hear. Opportunity isn’t going to knock if it knows the address is incorrect.
Lesson 3: Be Bold
Try new things, go places, talk to new people, and make new friends. Play a game with a group of people you don’t know well. Learn about others. Learn about yourself and put your new interests into action.
The only way to attract the right people in your life is to be bold about who you are. When you do that, people that are interested in the same things that share similar beliefs, or those who were simply not sure if you’d ‘click’, suddenly start talking to you. It’s a wonderful thing, and will certainly bring about new Opportunities for you.
Lesson 4: Create Your Own Opportunity
When all else fails, or you can’t seem to put any of the above lessons into play, create your own Opportunity. After all, we are the masters of our own happiness; so it’s time for you to take control of that happiness. Will it always go exactly as you planned? Nope. Will you potentially find yourself disappointed or hurt, yes. But I promise you this, dear reader, it will be substantially less than if you don’t follow what makes you happy.
So, I think that’s it for now; that’s all I have for you. Remember, Opportunity doesn’t grab you by the collar and force you to pay attention, it’s subtle, quiet, and always right there for you to grab.