There is a great song by the band Psychedelic Furs called “Love My Way.” One of the lines goes, “you can never win or lose if you don’t run the race…” Grammatical problems aside, it is a great thought. One of the things I admire most about Olympic athletes is that they are committed to being the best in the world at something and then go about doing the hard work to make it happen. They literally run the race or compete in the event that will define their athletic existence. Most of us prefer to stay on the sidelines and watch others excel why we rationalize our own inability to do the same thing in our own lives. So many people dream big but act small.
I’ve always believed that life rewards those who are prepared when an opportunity presents itself. To do this, you need to honestly know what a great opportunity would mean for you and why. You need to have an underlying sense of your personal values and priorities. You need to be actively searching for success and happiness and be on the lookout for positive signs. You need to know what you would be willing to give up or sacrifice to make something work. You need to be flexible but not jump at every opportunity that presents itself. You need to have a sense of context and perspective. You need to learn from your mistakes. You need to be brave enough to answer the door when opportunity knocks and be willing to risk short term comfort for long term gain. You need to be intellectually, physically and mentally prepared for the ensuing challenge. You should also be wary of burdening yourself with a lifestyle that affords minimal flexibility and boxes you into a financial corner.