8 Habits that Make Great Opportunities Happen

Just a drop

We all know someone who seems way too lucky.  They’re always stumbling across great new jobs, coming up with new business ideas or meeting the right people.  It seems as if they’re always at the right place at the right time.

How do they do that?

It might be tempting to dismiss it all as luck.

But maybe something else is going on.

If you were to observe these people closely, you’d see that opportunities don’t just come to them; they’ve developed habits that help make them appear more frequently.

It’s about how you interact with the world that determines how many opportunities come to you.

Simply put, you don’t need more luck to make great opportunities happen, you just need the right approach.  If you want better opportunities, you need to watch these eight habits:

1. Look for challenges

How often have people discovered opportunity simply because they took up a challenge?

Businesses have been created out of challenges.  Ideas and inventions have sprouted from them.

Those who are brave enough to face their challenges also get the opportunities that go with them.

Because after you’ve overcome all the obstacles and barriers that go into the challenge, you’ll get the reward that lies on the other side.  Those who are too afraid to face them never see them realized.

2. Be sure of yourself

Believe in yourself.  Believe in your actions and everything that you do.  Build confidence in yourself that shines through to everyone around you.

There’s something about self-confidence that draws in other people.  When you have enough confidence in yourself, you’re showing the world that what you’re doing is right and that others should pay attention.

And people will start paying attention.  From there, good opportunities will start to appear.

3. Work on what you have to offer

We all have our unique skills that set us apart from everyone else.  They might be rather specific to you, but don’t discount them.

Think of who you are and what you do as important.  Work on those talents and bring out your best work and people will take notice.

Good things come to people who get noticed.  Instead of having to search out opportunities, they’ll start coming to you.

There’s a great quote by Steve Martin that says, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

4. Take calculated chances

The best opportunities often come with a little risk.  There’s always a chance that you’ll start something that just makes you waste your time or lose a little money.

But that’s the nature of life.

Those who seize opportunities are willing to take those chances.  They know that opportunities can be risky, but still go ahead with them.

Things may not always work, but all you need is one to make it all worth your time.  Those who are willing to take risks on opportunities realize this.

5. Imagine opportunities everywhere you look

People who can’t see opportunities tend to see things with a closed mindset.  All they see are barriers and impossibilities.

This attitude makes you  blind to opportunities even if they’re right in front of you.  Your mind will simply refuse to see them.

Those who make opportunities happen see things differently.  From their point of view, opportunities are everywhere; it’s just a matter of finding them.

It’s incredible how many more opportunities you’ll find when you just set your mind to look for them.

6. Pay attention to what’s going on around you

Curiosity is a valuable trait.  Those who take time to look at the world tend to see things others don’t.  They notice what’s happening and that makes them the first people to spot opportunity.

Look at what the world around you needs.  Ask yourself what value you can add or what niche you can fill.  Eventually you’ll see things other people overlook.

7. Make bold decisions

Taking opportunities means making decisions.

Are you going to move across the country for that new job?

Want to take the first steps towards your dreams?

Be bold with your decision-making.  Set clear goals.  Decide what achievements you want to make and when you want to make them.

Make the hard choices about what you want out of life.  Otherwise, you might just wander around without direction or purpose.

8. Build on what works

Life is a big experiment.  You try a few things – some work and some don’t.  The key is learning what works so you keep what works and ditch the rest.

Make a habit of reflecting on your actions.  Take serious time to look at yourself to see if what you’re doing is getting you any closer to your goals.

Many people attribute opportunities to luck.  But those who know see opportunities as the result of hard work and consistent change.

When you continue building up what works, you’ll start to see a lot more things going your way.

What are some habits you use to make opportunities come your way?
photo credit: Mark J P

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Comments

  1. Hey there. Found you via startgainingmomentum. Seems like you got a great site here.

    I think your spot on with seeing opportunities wherever you go, because you get what you focus on. Energy flows where attention goes, as they say in the teachings of Huna philosophy.

    • Hey Joseph, I’m glad you stopped by. If you like startgainingmomentum, then you should check out the guest post Ludvig did called Why Don’t More People Do Productive Things In Their Lesiure. You can check it out here: http://dosomethingcool.net/why-people-productive-leisure/

    • Hey, Joseph!

      Steve,

      Nice post buddy. My habit to “get opportunities” is to find something that I want. Then I lock in by thinking about it constantly, and writing it up, maybe even saying it to myself. After a few days of doing this many repetitions, it sticks to my brain and I see it everywhere. (It’s like that post I wrote about the law of attraction on my site).

      • That’s a good way to get it in the forefront of your mind and in the reticular activating system. Get your mind thinking about it and you’re more likely to notice it.

  2. ‘Life is a big experiment’ – I love this so much, Steve! It takes the pressure off and means you can relax and enjoy the ride.

    It’s difficult for people to see things this way when they have major worries (finances, health) but the beauty of life is that nothing is ever constant.

    I agree with all your points, and especially like the one on working on what you have to offer. Being aware of our strengths means we can use these to our advantage, and embrace opportunities where our skills are useful.

    For me, it’s connecting and talking to people. I love doing this and feel that it’s a skill. Since I travel so much, I don’t feel lonely as there’s always someone to talk to.

    • Life is about change, isn’t it? Nothing is constant so we have to keep testing out what works and what doesn’t. We might as well change with it rather than remain static – otherwise we might miss something happening around us.

  3. Some great points. Loved number 3 in particular. Reminded me of a couple of quotes I came across recently.

    “One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

    “Talent you have naturally… skill is only developed by hours and hours of work.” – Usain Bolt

    It’s easy for us to neglect our craft when trying to make and take opportunities. Point number 3 on this list is definitely a good way of being reminded what it’s all about. Love those words from Steve Martin.

    • Great quotes, Micah. What good is talent without work? Even people we think of as naturally talented have to work their butts off. You have to put in the time and keep improving in order – no amount of natural talent can make up for that.

  4. Helpful post. I like the bias towards action. Could I add a willingness to experiment and sticking at it?

  5. I’m a huge believer in creating my own luck. I know there are reasons for some people who have circumstances that hold them back, for most of us there are plenty of opportunities to make and do wonderful things in this world. Keeping our eyes open is huge. The quote I love about this from Oprah, “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”

    • We all have those opportunities we missed simply because we didn’t notice them at the time. We have to be prepared for them when they come around.

  6. Great article, Steve.

    Great people that have everything happen to them show up everyday. They put in the time and effort. They aren’t sitting around everyday just wasting time. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

    To add my take, do something to provide value to others every single day, pay attention to how you use your time, and get comfortable doing uncomfortable things.

    You have to look at the world differently to live a different life!

    • Sometimes all success takes is showing up. When you consistently work towards something, you can make a lot of good things happen. Yeah, it can be hard to be consistent, but it’s worth it.

  7. Hey Steve! You are right on! I love telling people to stop thinking that people get lucky. It’s far more intentional than that. Instead of waiting around to get picked- pick yourself!

  8. You listed some great habits! #7 is so essential. Greatness happens when we are courage’s enough to make and follow through with bold decisions. Both in the small and big choices. Great post!

    • I’ve learned that you can’t be afraid to make decisions. If you wait too long to take decisions, you’ll just stay where you are and not do anything.

  9. Hi Steve – some great insights here including #8 which is the essence of self-improvement. Do stuff, see what happens, and continue improving. Reflect on how things turn out. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

    YOu’ve put together a good list here. I guess i would add be proactively be looking for opportunities and let people know what you’re seeking. If you’re looking for opportunities, let others know. if you’re looking for a job, others can’t help you until they know you’re seeking a job.

    • That’s good to do too. Sometimes the best way to get what you want is to ask for it. You never know what connection someone might have. Plus, it’s good to let people know if you’re looking for something because they might spot it somewhere too.

  10. My favorite point on this list has got to be #1. So many people seem to take the path of least resistance, and that’s cool if you don’t want to do/make anything special, but I can’t think of many well-known, accomplished people who didn’t look out for the challenges around them.

  11. I definitely resonate with #2, #6 and #7.

  12. I wake up every morning expecting great things to happen to me. Do they always happen every day? No, but I think they happen a lot more often because I have an optimistic outlook on life and this allows me to be ready for when opportunity comes my way.

    • Being ready – that’s so important. You have to be ready for opportunities when they come your way. That seems to be a big part of making them happen.

  13. Very true indeed Steve! I don’t believe anyone can be that lucky. What I do believe is that we all make our own luck based on our decisions and perspective. If you’re a pessimist, chances are you won’t be as lucky as others who have a positive mindset

  14. I do my job, I don’t seek for opportunities. The seek after me.
    I had covers done for free, books edited and marketed for free, book translated into German and in the process of being translated into Spanish – and I did very little to cause those events.
    I wrote, published and marketed my books. So I think it’s #3.

    As to #2. The word confidence comes from the Latin com – “with,” and fidere – “to trust”. Jim Rohn found confidence to a greater degree in what we give to others than in what we have within or about ourselves.” According to Rohn, “confidence has to do with inspiring trust,” it’s more of a social, than a personal trait.

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