Don’t just sit there…build your door

November 26, 2018

To start the week off Jack Freed used this little quote in his Jack’s Winning Words blog – “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  (Seneca)

Jack went on to write that he keeps a little slogan posted right by his computer – Get tough…Get off your duff!  It means, Get going and build that door! 

Too many of us spend our time lamenting that opportunity has passed us by or that it didn’t come knocking at our door. It is possible that it knocked and that we didn’t hear it, dancingbut it is more likely that we haven’t positioned ourselves to take advantage of it.  H. Jackson Brown, Jr. put it this way – “Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” Brown was pointing out that we need to be working at it, building that door, in order for opportunity to present itself. I also like this piece of advice about that dance with opportunity from Wayne Dyer – “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” 

A big part of being prepared to jump on opportunity is believing. Gail Devers said this, “Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for thosewoman-praying who believe.” A great way to start each day is to reaffirm your faith in God and in His hand in your success. That pause to be in contact with God and reaffirm your faith will allow you to take the all-important first step on your journey to success. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way – “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Taking that first step also means overcoming the inertia of procrastination and worry. As Joseph B. Wirthlin put it – “Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to. We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how leap of faithlong it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.”

So, get off your duff and build your door. The opportunity for success lies on the other side if you just take that first step.

Have a great week ahead!

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You must make the effort…

November 24, 2015

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  –  Milton Berle

I have a suspicion that most of the readers of this blog don’t know who Milton Berle was. He was called Uncle Miltie and Mr. Television. He starred in the long running NBC TV show the Texaco Star Theater. He was the biggest TV star of the era and, along with a number of other ex-Vaudevillians, was instrumental in the rapid rise of television and the nation’s primary source of entertainment. He is the source of a great number of really good quotes – see http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/milton_berle.html

knockng on doorWhat I like about this quote is that it is actionable. It doesn’t just say sit there and wait if you want an opportunity, build a door for it to knock upon.  That may mean taking classes or doing the prep work that is needed to be ready. It may mean putting in the extra effort that gets noticed when opportunity arrives. It could mean doing some of the things that you really don’t like to do, because opportunity demands that they be done first.

Here’s another thought along similar lines –

“If a gap separates you from someone or something that you want, build a bridge.” – Me

Very often we may sit lamenting that there is what seems to be a gap between us and what we want. That may be a relationship with someone bridgiing gapselse or maybe something like a better job. The gap represents either skills and knowledge that we don’t have or maybe just self-confidence that we lack. The gap may be relatively narrow or very wide, but we feel stuck on one side and what we want is on the other side.

Here again the advice is to take action, rather than wallowing in self-pity. Building the bridge that we need may take a while and undoubtedly involve self-improvement, either in our knowledge and skills or in our self-esteem. It is possible that it will take quite a while to build that bridge, but I suspect that the benefits will start accruing as soon as you start taking action to build it. Who knows; while you’re busy building that bridge opportunity just might knock.

ant workingSo, the point is that we must make the effort. Things are not going to fall into our laps just because we sit around lamenting what we don’t have. Build a bridge or a door. Get up and do something to move towards your goals and improve your chances of success. Find joy in the effort and take to heart the words of Theodore Roosevelt –

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Live well my friends. Make the effort that others will envy.