By Dawn Onley
If an opportunity landed in your lap today, one that you really wanted and had wished for, would you be ready?
We can get so immersed in the process of praying for a specific want that it can supersede the investment we make to prepare for it. We pray for a better job, but have done little to enhance our skillset, our education level, our marketability to put us in a position to qualify for a better job. We pray for a husband, but are still carrying around the baggage from the last boyfriend.
And so on, and so forth.
Wishing and praying are the easy part. The hard part is doing the work. The work may involve healing. It may involve preparing. Success is planned. It doesn’t just happen.
Years ago, I had a wonderful, potentially lucrative opportunity plop in my lap. It was a chance to write a book on a notorious drug dealer whose story would become the impetus for the movie “American Gangster,” which starred Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas. The journalist in me immediately jumped on the opportunity.
I met Lucas inside the Essex County Courthouse, where I worked at the time as a court reporter for New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper. I began interviewing him over the course of a few weeks. I would later decide not to continue with the project. I made the decision in part because of his lack of remorse for anything he had done in life, and it was impacting my enthusiasm for the project. But if I’m being completely honest, I also stopped because of fear. I feared that the project was bigger than I knew how to handle. It was. But so what? That’s what growth is all about.
I vowed never to make that mistake again.
It’s really important to be ready for opportunities, which usually arrive when we least expect it. Even if we don’t personally know how to do something, we can learn, we can meet people with knowledge that we don’t have, and some of these people may be willing to help us in some way if we ask. There’s almost always a way.
Let’s make 2016 the year that we take full advantage of opportunities. Let’s make it the year that we get over our fears and put ourselves in the best possible position to receive our blessings. Let’s make room for all great things in our lives. Let’s start investing in ourselves so we’ll be ready to meet opportunities when they arise. Not if they arise, but when they do, because they will.
They always do.