Earlier this week I had dinner with my friend Stacy. She reminded me of an important concept – opportunity. Every day we are given opportunities, whether we realize it or not! Therefore, we should be cognizant that they are there and available. Oftentimes, we look for the big windfall, but in most cases, we slowly build on opportunities. A kind gesture one day may lead us to a grand prize a few weeks, months, or even years later. But, we won’t know it today. We might not even know it a few weeks from now. The epiphany may come years down the road when we analyze how “our big break” all came to fruition. I believe that every thing you say and do has repurcussions. Some call it karma, but I presume it’s just logical (cause and effect) and everything does come back to you somehow.
When I first moved to California, I moved on behalf of a new work opportunity and did not know anyone in the area. I had wonderful friends in Los Angeles, but not down in Orange County where I live (about an hour and a half south on a good traffic day). As a transplant, I quickly realized that the OC was a big, wide suburb, and not the concentrated and cosmopolitan city of Manhattan where I had moved from.
Having just broken up with a boyfriend, I was single and did not know how to meet friends outside of my workplace. My big joke question was, “where are the smart, young people?” They seemed so plentiful in NYC, but not here in the OC where to me, there were only a bunch of families.
So one day during a work lunch at a popular outdoor mall (so different from NYC!), I noticed a placard for a speed-dating event. I grabbed a friend and work colleague and that evening, I went on about 10 mini-dates. If you’ve never been, you essentially go from one person to the next and talk to each other for about 5 minutes to see if you click. Well, I clicked! Not romantically, but to a wonderful and dear friend who I have known since I moved out here almost 9 years ago. I always think of that opportunity, and am thankful I siezed it because I met a smart, fun, successful person who is indeed a very good friend. That 5 minute opportunity turned into 9 years (and counting) of treasured friendship!
There is a Chinese proverb: “The Gods cannot help those who do not seize opportunities” and it is so true. We have to remember that they are numerous and daily, and even misfortunes and defeats can become opportunities. As they say, one door closes, and another one opens.