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Never Ignore Unexpected Opportunities

Allow me to start with a blatant statement. The most essential element or resource, the one that will largely determine your success may not be known to you at the moment you start acting on your vision. This leads to a simple admonition: Start your journey BUT keep an open eye for unexpected opportunities that might bring your vision into fruition.

There is a short story about a man who was traveling through a vast desert. After several days, he ran out of water and food with no human dwellings in sight. Thirsty, tired, and with hunger almost claiming his life, he came to a spot where a poor looking desert-dweller was selling ties. This traveler pleaded for food and water while the desert man tried to sell him a tie. The traveler instated that all he cared for was a drink and a meal and continued with his journey without a tie.

A few hours later he saw a place that had trees and buildings. As he came close to the area, he saw the green watered lawns. He smelled food. Then he saw people entering a building that appeared to be a restaurant and decided to go to the same building. At the gate, he was informed that nobody was allowed to enter the restaurant without tie.

Think of how Sacajawea became a key player in the expedition of Lewis and Clark. I don?t recall if historians indicated that Lewis or Clark had planned to meet and include a young Native American Indian girl from the Shoshone tribe as member of their expedition. Yet Sacajawea is credited for their survival and the preservation of their diaries.

So the question is: could there be opportunities that you have ignored because you are so focused on your vision that you can?t see what you need to make your vision materialize? Are there resources that you have you have ignored because, like the tie, don?t seem relevant for your immediate need?

Here are some key aspects to help you put unexpected opportunities to work for you.

1. Acknowledge that there are people you haven?t yet met who have relevant experience and knowledge for the vision you have.
2. Accept the fact that there are resources you have not yet identified for your vision that will be essential in making it a reality.
3. When in doubt, ask. Suppose the traveler had asked, ?How will a tie help take of my immediate needs??
4. When there are challenges in achieving a certain aspect of your vision, be flexible, re-evaluate the goals within your vision and creatively adjust your execution strategies.
5. Keep learning as you progress. You may need new knowledge to overcome obstacles that were not foreseen in the beginning.
6. Have genuine desire to adequately reward and/or acknowledge anyone who has helped you with your dream.
7. Don?t be so narrowly focused on the long term endeavor that you don?t cherish small milestones that are huge sources of motivation.
Around 1993, I had determined that I would one day help millions of people as a professional communicator and writer. I had been a scientist all my adult life. I casually shared my vision with a neighbor whose job was delivering milk with a factory truck.

The following evening, I had a knock on my door?it was my neighbor. All he said was, ?Vince, here. This book might help you with what you want to do with your life. I have had it for years but I think you will use it.? It was Napoleon Hill?s bestselling, ?Think and Grow Rich.? I had never heard of it?still among the best books I have ever read.

Unexpected opportunities, when recognized and put to work, have a way of positively surprising the world.

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