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Small Opportunities that Make You Rich

Have you been waiting for a huge opportunity to come your way and sweep you off your feet? A stunning job offer? A life-changing encounter? A million-dollar idea that you know is going to work?

I have. I thought that when a GREAT opportunity presented itself, I would not let it go by. I would take MASSIVE action to make it work. I would be bold and brilliant and I would take risks.

Then I started analyzing my life and I realized that my biggest achievements did not look like ‘wonderful opportunities’ when they presented themselves. They looked like a lot of work with a feasible, yet highly improbable, possibility of success. I took action more out of curiosity, enjoyment and a sense of obligation. But never once did I feel that this was it! Actually every time I had a ‘good feeling’ about something or someone, things never quiet worked out the way I expected.

Maybe you can relate to this as well… Have you always recognized and seized the opportunity when you saw it?

Before you find a definite answer, let me tell you one story:

They say that when the great library of Alexandria burned, one book was saved. The book held no value, and it was sold for a few coppers to a poor man, who could read a little. While the book itself was neither interesting nor well-written, it hid a secret. Between its pages lay a thin strip of vellum that contained the key to unlimited wealth. The writing explained that among thousands of pebbles on the seashore was hidden a “touchstone” – a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold.

It looked exactly like any other pebble, but there was one difference: The ordinary pebbles were cold, while the real stone felt warm.

After reading these words, the man sold his few belongings and moved closer to the seashore, determined to find his treasure.

He soon figured that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down because they were cold, he might pick them up again and again. So, when he felt a pebble that was cold, he threw it into the sea.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. The man worked every day but none of the pebbles felt warm to his touch. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold – throw it into the sea. Pick up another. Throw it into the sea.

One day, however, about mid afternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. Without thinking he threw it into the sea.

It sounds a lot like what we do – sometimes we see an opportunity, we hold it in our hands, and then we throw it away, because it has become a habit. Because many opportunities before this one, did not work out. Because the timing was not right. Because it looked too plain, too simple or too small to be the real deal.

Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

I believe this. And I also believe that we should give our business ideas, random interests and unrelated-work activities a try. Pick them up. Test them. Listen to what our intuition tells us.
Great opportunities do not have to come in one piece.

A little victory is still an accomplishment, a tiny step forward is still progress, a small act of kindness still has an impact.

When these opportunities and successes are added together they create a massive feeling of happiness and abundance.

Do not wait for the ‘right’ opportunity that will transform your life. What if it never comes? What if you do not recognize it? What if you let it pass by?

Instead, start small. Do your best. Feel fortunate, without having to have a fortune.

It is a perfectly acceptable way to succeed.

4 Comments
  • Daniel Wood
    November 16, 2011 at 6:07 am

    My greatest opportunity came when the people renting my appartment wanted to move out (I was living abroad at the time), I got into a big fight with the manager who turned the rest of the company against me and I was financially bankrupt.

    I moved back to Sweden, got a new job and all of a sudden I was back on my feet and it turned out that the company I began working for gave me great opportunities to grow, while the company I left went under 6 months later 🙂

    You never know when you have been given a gift in disguise.

  • Ajen
    November 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!  I love the story of the “touchstone” as it reminds me of the need to be mindful of habits.  It is all too easy to get caught up in the habit of looking for what is not the opportunity.  Yes, we all start out looking for that one thing that is “special”, but isn’t interesting how we end up being critical, biased and prejudiced…  I am glad that you call us to start some and be grateful for the small opportunities… for me, I feel that the compilation of small opportunities over time leads to greatness.

    Great post, Arina!

  • Avadonkey
    November 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Hello, im from brazil and my family dont got money to pay my study.. somebody can help me.. email me at avadonkey@gmail:twitter.com 

    THX!!

    • Avadonkey
      November 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      avadonkey@gmail.com

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