Opportunities are the seeds of success. Just as the acorn becomes an oak, opportunities can transform into happiness, wealth, fulfillment, or success. And like little pigs, musketeers, and Charlie’s Angels, they come in 3 types:
The opportunities that find you.
The opportunities that you find.
The opportunities that you create.
The first kind falls in your lap. The second kind you catch. The third kind you make.
If you wait around for the first type, you may wait forever, like an airline customer service representative.
The second type you need to look for. And you better be ready to compete for it when you find it. Kind of like parade candy. Or the t-shirt shot out of a cannon at a sporting event that isn’t even your size.
The third type will have no competition. Because without you it doesn’t exist. Like your next business, book or baby. This includes connections, creations, innovations and organizations of all types. Basically anything with a tion in it. Because the suffix tion turns a verb into a noun. Just like opportunities empower you to make things with your actions.
Keep your eyes open to find opportunities. But more importantly, keep your mind open to create your own. Because those are the most valuable and available variety of all.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
In a normal year my family and I would be heading to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina this week. Unfortunately, our family’s August vacation tradition looks like it has come to an end. Because our kids’ sports obligations have locked us at home for the month of August for the next 9 years. Boo.
Exploring Our Backyard
But when life gives you lemons you have to squeeze them for all they’re worth. That’s why we have been using our weekends to explore interesting attractions closer to home. In the past couple of weeks we have been to the Milwaukee Air and Water Show, The Milwaukee Zoo, The Wisconsin State Fair, The Chazen Art Museum and more state parks than you can shake a state park pass at.
The House On The Rock
This weekend we hit one of the most mysterious of midwestern attractions. The House On The Rock. I had heard about this place since I was a small child but really didn’t know what it was, other than the obvious information I gleaned from the name itself. Because I am smart like that.
Imagination At Work
The House On The Rock turned out to be extremely interesting, fun and weird. As the name implies, there is a house built on a rock. But there is a whole lot of interesting stuff housed adjacent to the rock that is hard to wrap your head around, or put into words. So I won’t attempt it here. Suffice it to say The House On The Rock is the product of an active imagination.
Meeting My Quota of Quotes
One of my favorite spaces at THOTR was a room full of inspirational quotes focused mostly on the power of imagination. As an advertising creative I have spent my entire career mining my own imagination. As an entrepreneur I have seen how an entire business can spring from the blueprints of our imagination. So I am sharing some of the quotes I found here. I hope there is something that resonates with you.
Your imagination is your most valuable asset. It can help you create wealth, happiness and comfort. It can get you into the places you want to be in. And out of the places you want out of. Use it. Protect it. Value it. Build your life on it. Like a house on a rock.
*If you know someone who could use some inspirational quotes (#everyone) please share it with them.
Digital devices are amazing. They enable you to find the answer to virtually any question, any time. They help you fill in knowledge gaps like grout. Or mortar. Or caulk.
So we end up filling our free time by answering questions: What is the weather like tomorrow? Tap. What’s the balance in my bank account? Tap. What is Debbie doing? Tap. Is she still in Dallas? Tap. What was Gregory Hines famous for? Tap. What do you call water from the faucet? Tap.
The Dark Side
But these omnipresent digital devices have a significant downside too. They are depleting one of our most valuable resources: our free time. That precious time when we can let our minds wander in empty space. The time we can use to imagine exciting new ideas is disappearing at an alarming rate. In fact, the planet is losing free time faster than we are losing rain forest (acutally I just imagined that fact in my free time).
If we are not careful we will squander our most fertile time to invent, improve and inspire. That time lost can never be recovered. Not even with LoJack.
The world needs more great ideas. So do businesses, communities, schools and households. Great ideas are born in the quiet spaces in between. Those spaces that are now being filled in with screen time.
Starting today, take back some of your thinking time. While you are waiting for something to start, or something to end, or someone to show up, keep your smart phone in your pocket or purse. Instead, let your mind go wherever it wants. If you give it enough time it is sure to arrive somewhere exciting and new. Once it does, pull out your phone and tell me all about it.
*If you know someone who could benefit from more free time and less screen time, please consider sharing this post.