This opportunity comes once in a lifetime - Christopher S. Penn Blog

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

– Eminem

One of the reasons we miss opportunities is that we fail to see them for what they are. Our conventional, jaded, cynical view of the world (made that way in part by marketers hyping everything mundane as extraordinary, sorry) closes our eyes to opportunities that are literally right in front of us. It’s not that they aren’t there, it’s just that we don’t have the eyes to see them. We see a friend request as a statistic. We see a tweet as noise – in fact, we even treat discussion of friends as signal to noise ratios.

I love the lyrics in Eminem’s song Lose Yourself, which in part open this blog post (video). What if, instead of simply seeing life as a series of drab, boring events, we saw each day as opportunity? What if instead of sleepwalking through the day, each day was instead our one chance, our shot to take? How would you work, play, live if every day was the opportunity to have that breakthrough you’ve been waiting your whole life for?

I’m not saying to be naive. Absolutely not everything in every day is going to be that amazing opportunity. Absolutely not every email you get will be THE break you’ve been waiting for. But there are plenty more opportunities for enjoyment, amazement, wonder, and awakening than we are conditioned to look for, little moments that you will completely and totally miss – and deeply regret. What if you were so jaded and inured to life and the people in it that you stopped paying attention to the smiles of your children?

It doesn’t have to be that way. Life doesn’t have to feel that way. Here’s a simple but powerful antidote: look for opportunities. Look for the things that you want more of in your life. Look for more happiness, more smiles, more love, more prosperity. It’s there. It’s there waiting in front of you, waiting for you to open your eyes and ears to realize it. Ask yourself the next time you feel cynical words rising through your mind to your tongue: what if this were the opportunity, the one shot? How would you listen to it differently? How would you treat it differently? What would you say or do differently if this were your chance?

The original music video:

Do not miss your chance.


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