Make The Most of What Comes

“Make the most of what comes and the least of what goes.”

—Author Unknown

Image from psdgraphics.com

Nothing last forever.

We tell ourselves this all the time, yet we often go about our lives as if, through some form of sheer will power, we can alter this “Law of Impermanence.”

Rather than struggling to prevent things from being lost or drifting away with time, we can perceive them in an empowering and grateful manner.

We can further our engagement and delight in life by also making the most of the people and events that enter our lives, no matter how brief the time.

EXERCISE:

How can you exercise your maximizing and minimizing abilities where it counts the most? Sharing your intentions to use these strategies with others will increase your ability, and likely benefit them as well.

A book that may support your effort is Essentialism by Greg McKeown

a wise man’s questions

“A wise man’s questions contain half the answer.”

—Solomon ibn Gabirol, 11th Century Jewish Philosopher

Image from The Secret Yumiverse

When was the last time you wrestled with a jar that would not open? Whatever was inside was just on the other side of that pesky lid! Eventually, I’m sure, you found a stronger person, tapped the jar against the counter, or maybe ran it under hot water to get access to the contents.

In many ways, wise and thoughtful questions are like jar openers, giving us access to answers, valuable opportunities, and important discoveries.

The ability, skill, and mastery of knowing what questions to ask of ourselves and others is, as today’s quote suggests, half the battle.

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully discover what’s inside yourself and others by enhancing your curiosity and ability to formulate provocative, deeply probing questions?

Doors Don’t Slam Open

“Doors don’t slam open.”

—John Shanahan, Director for Defense Intelligence, The Pentagon

Image of an open door in a field

Image from Flickr by My Wave Pictures

When was the last time you heard a door slam shut? What was the cause for this abrupt action? Did it involve you and others in your life?

What relationships or opportunities were perhaps damaged or lost due to this occurrence?

Without question, closed doors and slammed doors are commonplace for people who have a “go for it” approach to life. It can be as simple as someone in your personal or professional world saying “NO” to something you want or desire.

People of courage, initiative, and grit always find new and better doors to open, thus creating their own “YES” and the lives they desire.

EXERCISE:

In what ways can you open more doors and realize the greater possibilities that lie on the other side?

“Your big opportunity may be…”

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

—Napoleon Hill, American author of personal-success literature

QC #737-01

How fulfilled and content with life are you at this moment? How perfect are your personal and professional situations? How often do you find yourself longing for some other place, some other future, where you believe you will be far happier?

EXERCISE:

Imagine that some amazing technology company invented a new device called the “Opportunity-O-Matic,” and you are among the early adopters. When you use the device, you discover, pursue, and realize wondrous possibilities of life, right at your own doorstep.

Perhaps we already have such a device installed in our minds and hearts, momentarily turned to Airplane mode. Are you ready to flip the switch?

“Opportunity does not knock. It presents itself when you beat down the door.”

“Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.”

– Kyle Chandler, actor

Last week, my daughter Rachel completed the sixth year of her job with the Southwestern company. The company recruits and trains college and university students to sell high quality educational books, software and website subscriptions door to door. The average student works six days a week for twelve hours a day. That’s a lot of knocking!

By no means are these young people super-aggressive or pushy. Their consistency, persistence and overall tenacity usually produce remarkable results in both sales and character development.

Exercise:

Where have you been reluctant to knock on – and even beat down – the doors with your goals on the other side, to realize greater opportunities in your life?

be prepared for opportunity

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have one and not be prepared.”

– Whitney Young, Jr., American Civil Rights Leader

Image of Boy Scout Logo

When I was young, I was a Boy Scout – you know, that organization that teaches young folks to “be prepared.” Although I never achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, this motto has remained with me all these years.

People today may tease or ridicule us for being a Boy Scout – for the plans we make, the lists we create, and the forethought we give to projects and areas of importance. For me, being a bit of a Boy Scout has worked out pretty well.

Exercise:

Look at your own efforts to be prepared for those important opportunities you may know about – and perhaps others not currently on your radar.

Determine what additional or modified Boy Scout habits would help you make the most of the opportunities life presents.