Not too, too long ago, my wife and I had turned down a very, very good opportunity! It was one of those opportunities that appear to be a no-brainer -- that is, you would think it is obvious that this opportunity is right for you.
But after talking about it, we decided that even though the opportunity looked good, maybe the opportunity would be good for someone else. We didn't want to make a decision out of desperation. We wanted to make the RIGHT decision that would BEST serve our family.
When you're in desperation mode, you see every opportunity as a good opportunity. On the surface, ALL opportunities are good ones -- but some of those opportunities might later ruin you.
Back in New York City, I used to work for a temping agency and landed a temp job at rent-to-own company. At the time, my wife and I were only engaged. Also at that time, I was looking for opportunities to get out of NYC and working at this place seemed to be my ticket out!
One of the managers there talked with his manager and I was hired full-time. Yes! My goal was to work at this location for a few months and then transfer to a different branch in Buffalo, NY so that I could get out NYC.
But the good opportunity turned out to be a STRESSFUL one. I started to hate the whole concept of rent-to-own as we were renting and selling stuff at insanely high prices and the quality of the items weren't worth the prices. I had to work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, and I had Sunday off and Tuesday off. I couldn't enjoy two days off in a role! Plus, I hated chasing after people who didn't pay their rent.
The job stunk! But was it a good opportunity? Of course it was! But good opportunities don't guarantee no consequences for choosing those opportunities.
Even though all opportunities appear good at first, there is a way to see if any opportunity would ultimately benefit you or destroy you.
If money is your ultimate priority, then every opportunity looks good.
If more family time is your ultimate priority, then only few opportunities look good.
If losing weight is your ultimate priority, then every opportunity looks good.
If having overall better health is your ultimate priority, then only few opportunities look good.
If having sex and self-pleasure is your ultimate priority, then every opportunity (and every warm body) looks good.
If settling down with a good spouse and a family is your ultimate priority, then very, VERY few opportunities look good.
If getting out of your neighborhood or your city or state or country is your ultimate priority, then every opportunity looks good.
If looking for a place where you could thrive is your ultimate priority, only few opportunities look good.
If you change your priorities, then you could determine what opportunities are really good and which opportunities are not good.
The problem we have is that we make important decisions when we're in desperation mode. I could go on telling you about all the bad decisions I've made when in desperation mode. And let me tell you, whenever you make a decision out of desperation, you will ALWAYS make the wrong decision.
One secret I've found to always going for the best opportunities is to be content where you are. When you see no pressing reasons to leave where you are, then you would look at other opportunities as bonuses in life.
What is one of my goals in life? To have lots of land that I could plant an orchard that could feed my family and many other families. Right now, I live in a quadraplex. If I am content where I am, then I could focus on what I am really looking for instead of getting any ol' house that I would ultimately not be happy with.
Being happy where you are DOES NOT mean you shouldn't pursue better things. We should always pursue opportunities to better ourselves and our situation. However, don't pursue these opportunities out of desperation. Learn to be content with what you have, and when you get something better, it would really feel like a bonus. Plus, you would have no regrets at the decision you made.
Before you go for that next opportunity, ask yourself if your next decision would be based on desperation. Let thoughtfulness and contentment help you make your decisions. Don't let desperation influence you.
We always WANT something. We don't always have the WILL to get it. Saying I WANT is easy, because no action is required. It's much harder to say I WILL, because that means you actually have to do something.
You will find that you could make more things happen by simply switching from "I Want" to "I Will."
When you simply say "I want," there is never any plan of action. When you say that you actually WILL do something, then that is when the magic starts to happen.
If you're struggling with a bad addiction, you usually keep wishing that you could stop. You say over and over, "Man, I WANT to stop this," "This addiction is ruining my life and I wish I could stop," "I hope that I could stop one day."
What do you see there? Nothing but wishful thinking. All dreams, but no actions.
One time, the great King Solomon of Israel once said, "Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense" (Proverbs 12:11). Or in other words, those who actually have the WILL to do something will see changes, but those who simply WISH for something with no plan of action won't get anything. It's the difference between a farmer who plants seeds and a farmer who just wishes that something will grow from nothing!
When you get up in the morning, get into the habit of saying "This is what I am going to do" and actually do it. Don't end the day without accomplishing what you said you would do. And what you're planning to do doesn't have to be big. Simply saying "I will take out the garbage" is good enough! Simply saying "I will take a 5-minute walk around the neighborhood" is good enough! No, these aren't big actions, but these small actions WILL get you in the habit of saying "I will" and actually accomplishing what you willed to do.
When we were children, saying "I want" actually had meaning, because we had a plan of getting what we wanted: we would ask our parents if they could get it for us! As we get older, "I want" lost any impact on our lives because we rarely have a plan to get what we want. This is why we need to switch from saying "I want" to "I will." At least by saying "I will," we would be a bit more compelled to do something about it.
Before you say "I want," ask yourself, "Do I actually want to do something about it or am I just wishing?" It doesn't take much to wish. Anybody could wish. But could you actually DO SOMETHING about what you want?
The one thing I just recently realized is that most of the soldiers who go overseas to fight in wars have probably NEVER fought in a war before. Many of them have probably never used a gun before! So, how is it that our American soldiers could do so well in battle? For that matter, how is it that ANY soldier of any country could do well in a battle?
Here's the answer: they were training during peace time.
No soldier goes to war without any training. War time is never the time to start learning how to fight. You learn to fight when you don't have to. You learn to protect yourself when there is no urgency to do so. You learn how to take care of business while everything is still going your way.
The more you think about it, the more amazed you might be at the fact that most of the American soldiers who are fighting in battle are fighting for the first time. All of the wars we've fought were filled with soldiers who have never went to battle before.
Now, let's broaden this perspective and add that:
However, these people could be very successful in their careers because they had training when they didn't need to train. They trained in a controlled environment that prompted no sense of urgency so that when the need did arise, they were ready to take action.
See, the time to train yourself in any situation is not when you actually need to do something. The time to train yourself is when you don't need to.
You prepare for battle during your down time, during the times of peace, not when you have to fight.
Whenever I pick out a new song for my ZUMBA class, I don't try to come up with a choreography DURING class -- though on rare occasions I'll try to learn a new choreography RIGHT BEFORE class. My best choreography occurs when I spend several days going over it, and my WORST choreography occurs when I try something new on the DAY OF my class -- and many times when that happens, I would mess up on my choreography.
You see, sometimes we try to prepare ourselves DURING the occasion, not BEFORE the occasion. If we wait UNTIL the occasion to ready ourselves, we will crash and burn! But if you prepare yourself before the occasion, you'd flow right through the occasion as if it's nothing.
When I was in college theatre, I would spend about two months preparing for a show that would last for just two weekends. Almost everyday I would come in to rehearse for about two hours or so. All that training for a show that lasted less than than two hours. Oh, and let's not forget all the dress rehearsals, running the entire show a few times without an audience, moving and building the set, and then tearing down the set. All that work for a show that just lasted for less than two hours.
However, when show time came, nobody had any lack of confidence. We remembered our lines, our cues, everything and the show would always flow well. We didn't wait until show time to get ready. We got ready BEFORE show time.
However, back in high school, I was a part of the theatre club that had some immature students. There was one play we were rehearsing for, and because some of the students were goofing around too much, they weren't memorizing their lines well. So, the teacher told everybody that if need be, we would just have to carry our scripts on stage DURING show time! And that was exactly what happened! At least one student had a script book with him while we were performing in front of an audience. Talk about disgraceful!
In your life, prepare yourself for whatever occasion BEFORE it happens. When it's show time, you want everything to flow. You don't want to stress out by trying to get yourself ready when the curtains open.
Peace time is really a time for preparation. War time is the time for action. Don't try to prepare yourself when you ought to be taking action, or else you will burn. If it's peace time for you, then get yourself prepared for something.
When I first came down to North Carolina, I aspired to be a teacher. I just completed my teacher's training program in New York and I was ready to roll! Over 200 applications later, I still couldn't get a teaching job! However, I was able to get an EMS job because I had EMS training. I had a skill to fall back on, a skill that I paid for while working at a job in New York. See, while I was working, I was also doing something to gain a new skill so that I could easily transition from one job to another. But if all I did was work and did nothing else to learn a new skill, then I would have been in serious trouble had I lost my job. And I don't know what I would have done in those first few years in North Carolina had I not gotten my EMS training in New York.
You should always be in a state of preparation. You never know what the future holds. When you're in a state of peace, you should use this time to prepare for something else. Don't wait until something bad happens before you decide to take some action.
One time, the ancient Israelite King Solomon talked about preparation, believing that life's events were so random that it would be just foolish to not do what you can to prepare yourself for the future. "Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land" (Ecclesiastes 11:2) And again, "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." (Ecclesiastes 11:6)
I definitely admire individuals who have several streams of income coming in, rather than just depending on one source for income. Should something happen to one source of income, you have several other sources of income. But what would happen if you only had ONE source of income? If you're a person who could get easily stressed out, then get ready for the ride of your life if you lose your only source of income!
Let peace time be the time for preparation. Don't get so comfortable where you are that you'd decide to do nothing else with your life. Whether or not you're a believer in the supernatural, you could appreciate the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible because the king gives so much practical insight into life in general, and one of his main points in that book is that "anything could happen at any moment to anybody and there is no way of knowing when anything could happen." So prepare yourself.
Don't find yourself in a hole that you can't dig yourself out of. Don't invite unnecessary stress into your life. If you're always preparing for something, then you won't get taken by surprise should something happen.
With the New Year comes new resolutions to help make the next year a better one! But we rarely keep those resolutions, and by the end of the year, we're telling everybody, "I hope the next year will be better than this one!"
Well, before you make your resolutions (which I don't see any problems with, by the way), think about this: if you want to be successful, then BUILD UP rather than BLAST OFF.
When you BLAST OFF, that means you want to reach your goals right away and would do all sorts of crazy things to get there. But when you blast off, you will burn out quickly, and when March comes, you would have forgotten what your resolutions were.
When you BUILD UP, that means you want to reach your goals little by little, step by step. For instance, I have a resolution. I want to reach HALF of it by June, and the other half by next December. So when December 2016 comes, I hope to have reached my goal.
I believe in BUILDING UP, doing things slowly yet doing them the right way. If we could learn to be patient and to take small steps at a time, then we would build a strong foundation that won't be so easily moved.
People who blast off will fail. They go hard, but they will quit before they even realize it. People who build up, however, could reach a goal and not realize it. Why? Because they didn't let that resolution be the number one thing in their lives. They lived their normal life while building up on the side. All of this building up led to great accomplishments, but these accomplishments came in quietly. Instead of spending everyday chasing after this one thing, this one thing crept up on them -- and finally, they realized that they have comfortably reached their destination.
Whatever you want to accomplish, you need to start low and slow. Don't reach so high. Focus on one step at a time and give yourself a lot of time to accomplish this goal. Don't try to reach for the stars by next month. Give yourself some time so you could do things right.
It's better to reach your goal (and far exceed that goal) within a long time frame than to hit PART of your goal (and go no further) within a short time frame. It's better to get there LATE and have everything that you've worked for, then to get there EARLY and only have a little of what you've worked for.
Yes, you want to get something NOW, but wouldn't you rather do it RIGHT than to get it RIGHT NOW? Be willing to wait. Just take your time. If you're going to chase after something, it's more important to do it properly than to do it quickly. If there are opportunities to accelerate your goals, by all means take them. Otherwise, just treat your goals like a farmer: plant your seeds, take care of them, and harvest the fruits when the time is right.
Don't crash and burn with your resolutions. If you want to be successful this next year, then focus on doing things RIGHT rather than doing them FAST.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.