“It was such a great opportunity, I just couldn’t resist! It was what I’d been looking for all my life!”
Have you ever found yourself using these very words? How well did that opportunity turn out for you? If the answer is not so well, would you like to find out why?
The reason that succumbing to that irresistible opportunity may not be in your best interest is that confusion between an opportunity and possibility is a very common occurrence.
An opportunity is something that looks like what you have been looking and asking for all your life. Like a Dementor straight out of Harry Potter, it turns up at a time that can do the most possible damage to your pending success. It does not have your best interests at heart. It looks like what you’ve been seeking all your life, but it has a far more evil intent.
An opportunity is something that shows up just before you’re ready to have success in your endeavours, and its purpose is to lead you down the garden path and away from the ribbon at the finish line that would mark your actual success.
Opportunity is the word that cold-calling sales people who always call at dinner time use to convince you to buy something in which you had no interest whatsoever before they interrupted your meal. Doesn’t it just reek of that hard-sell, you-can’t-resist-this energy?
Okay, so now that your dreams of that perfect opportunity coming along are dashed, what should you be looking for if you’d like success?
Possibility is a far better word, says Gary Douglas, best selling author and founder of Access Consciousness. Using a few of his simple tools, based on the consciousness he’s developed based on decades of experience in businesses as varied as real estate, antiques, restaurants, and now world-wide seminars in consciousness, can enable you to steer clear of success-stealing opportunities and create far more possibilities.
How can you know for yourself that possibility is greater, and how can you tell the difference? The key to both these questions is just that—to be in the question.
Ask yourself, which feels lighter, opportunity or possibility? For most people possibility is what feels lighter. The choice that feels lighter is always what’s true for you, says Douglas. This is a tool you can use in making any choice in business or your personal life.
In addition, opportunity is always an answer. “Buy this stock and it will make you money!” says the telemarketer. Is there any question in this assertion? None at all! He is selling an answer he wants you to buy.
The difficulty is that questions empower, answers disempower. When you buy someone else’s answer, you are dis-empowering yourself. Questions, on the other hand, not only empower you, but they also create possibilities and more potential for even greater outcomes. Which would you like to choose?
A simple question you can ask when presented with a choice in business or in life is just to ask, “Is this an opportunity or a possibility?” Whichever feels lighter is what that potential choice is.
Another way of determining the true value of the choice presented is to expand the choice until it’s as large as the universe. If you have trouble with this, imagine that it’s a giant balloon and pump it full of air. If it easily expands as large as the universe, that prospect is true and probably expansive and rewarding for you.
If, on the other hand, your prospective choice either dissipates or simply won’t go that big, the chances are excellent there’s a lie in there somewhere. Whether you have identified the lie or not, that lie will hold you back on your quest for success as surely as an old-time convict’s ball and chain. Most answers are themselves lies because they impose limits on an infinite universe. If there’s a lie involved in the potential choice you’re looking at, that in itself is a very good indication it’s an opportunity and not a possibility.
Another question can create some freedom for you here. Just ask, “Where is the lie here, spoken or unspoken?” Chances are excellent the lie is unspoken. The lie may appear to you right away, or it may take some time for it to occur to you.