Society instills in us the need to seize every opportunity. However, not all doors that open are the right ones. How to know which opportunities do not suit us?
Last update: July 10, 2022
We live focused on the idea that there are trains not to be missed, opportunities to be seized without ifs and buts. Those who hesitate, those who think too much are described as indecisive and lacking in courage. We feel we must act quickly and decide at the speed of light without weighing too much the possible consequences.
Nothing requires an exercise of deep introspection and analysis as much as decision making. Some doors, in fact, shouldn't be open. And there are also bridges that are best not to cross.
Because just as we can sometimes regret not trying, we can also feel bad for having thrown ourselves into the void without having thought about it first.
It is an experience in which we can all have found ourselves on more than one occasion. The surprising thing is that our first impulse, almost always, is to take risks.
We are terrified of the possibility of repentance, criticism and feeling bad about ourselves for not taking advantage of a seemingly ideal situation.
However, meditating on each resolution is an art that ennobles and in which one must take action. So let's see how to understand when we are faced with a real opportunity.
"I found that the only way to catch a train on time is to miss the previous train."
Strategies to understand which are the opportunities to be seized
We have been given the idea that nothing is as reprehensible as a missed opportunity. However, we must also keep another detail in mind. Those who do not hesitate for a second to seize an opportunity without having thought about it can act hastily. For example, it happens when you leave one job for another and ultimately run out of it.
Now, it is true that none of us have a crystal ball. We cannot predict what will happen after making a decision; however, if this resolution is in tune with our goals, values and essences, the cost of the possible error will be lower. We are not risk analysts and most of the time we act as jugglers of luck and fate.
However, if we have adequate techniques to analyze each situation, we will leave less room for chance. The chances of the choice being successful will always be a little higher. Let's now see the strategies that help us understand when to seize an opportunity or not.
Before exploiting or discarding an opportunity, we must give ourselves time to analyze what is behind that proposal.
Is it in tune with your goals?
When weighing a proposal, be it business, personal or any other nature, we need to assess whether it is in harmony with our life goals. To do this, let's ask ourselves the following questions:
If I take this opportunity, where will it take me? Does what I have to do or what is expected of me have to do with my short and long term goals?
Sociologist Max Weber coined in 1920 the concept of "chance of a lifetime" to define those situations that can improve our well-being and self-realization. In other words, the doors we open must allow us to satisfy our needs.
For example, our goal may be to achieve a leadership position in our company. However, if we are promoted to a position where we won't have a chance to show off our skills, it's probably worth turning down.
Does it fit your values?
We assessed whether the opportunity presented fits our goals. The second level of filtering will analyze whether it matches our values.
We remember that a value is that dimension with which we identify ourselves and in which we believe. If we are offered a job with a higher salary, but the responsibilities are not in tune with what defines us as people, we will hardly be happy.
Personal values are the fundamental pillars on which our beliefs, our worldview and our vital priorities are based. When making a decision, we must always keep them in mind.
Opportunities to be grasped and consequences
What would be the cost of not taking a certain opportunity? How would our reality change? Would letting go of it be more counterproductive than catching it?
It is also interesting to take into account a detail that they point out to us in a study by the universities of Arkansas and Ohio.
On average, regret is greatest when we know that certain opportunities will not come back. This forces us to ask ourselves another question. What are the chances that we will have a similar opportunity again in the future?
When we have an interesting possibility of change before us, we think about the following: in 10 years, will I regret not having taken advantage of it?
When you are undecided, you should ask yourself whether or not a similar occasion will happen again in the future.
Accept reality to distinguish the opportunities to be seized
Gabriel García Márquez said that life is nothing more than a succession of chances for survival. A fitting, inspiring and powerful image to keep in mind. Because if it is true that during our entire existence we will let go of multiple opportunities for change, others will always come.
It is crucial to know how to accept every circumstance, including occasions that are not convenient at a given moment. Instead of obsessing over whether or not we're wrong, let's just focus on the here and now. In what surrounds us. Sometimes, it's best to stay put so that you can build momentum for the next opportunity.