Having and Taking: Opportunities and You

Some wonderful 90s clip art to set the mood. No, wait, keep reading, it gets better, I promise!

Just a short post tonight, on something I was thinking about this evening.

When people say to me that they “had an opportunity” to do something, I usually cringe a little. This statement, to me, represents the problem I hear a lot about from recent grads – I didn’t get what I wanted out of my education. And usually, the talk shifts to what was wrong with the institution, or the lack of pertinent classes, or some other complaint. And I usually end up mentioning how I didn’t really feel this was the case.

To me, college is one of the most amazing times because opportunities literally flood into your life. Emails from faculty, the school, the dean, everyone all flood in and offer chances to try, to do, and to learn. Each one is a different potential chance to grow as a person, to do something great, or maybe just to have fun. But alas, we often train ourselves to block out these opportunities – into the spam filter they go.

This is all fine and good for a while, but after enough time passes, I think we begin to stop seeing the myriad opportunities all around us. We get so used to blocking and filtering – relegating all of the new opportunities to the “had an opportunity” bin, instead of the “took an opportunity” one.

And I think this is the key difference – “having an opportunity” means nothing to me. It means an opportunity presented itself, but we decided that we would do the only thing to assure we would never capitalize on it – we let it slide past. If, however, we take these opportunities, we suddenly create the potential to have success with them.

And this is a radical, radical difference. Having is a fleeting sense that something passed by – taking is jumping in and saying “let’s give it a shot”. And there’s no guarantee¬†that taking an opportunity bestows¬†success. It may turn out that we would have spent less time, energy, and money by letting it pass. But, as i said before, this is a dangerous path. The easier it gets, the more likely we will turn down something truly great.

So get out there – TAKE these opportunities, and expand the potential of your future!

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One thought on “Having and Taking: Opportunities and You

  1. Matt Kochensparger says:

    Well said, nephew.

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