This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

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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  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    People don’t dream big enough. I was a project manager. Then I started blogging about SEO and learning as much as I could about it. Now I do SEO for a living and love going to work every day (Thursday morning’s commute is a special treat as I get to sip my coffee while listening to Marketing Over Coffee). Dream it. Work towards it. Make it happen.

  • http://www.teenwildernessprograms.org/ Ian

    This post is great, it’s worth an inspiration. I am a student and actively participate in workshops, trainings and team building. I join youth ranch and camps for its really fun hanging around with different people most especially same age as mine. For now, the opportunity I see is to be a part of some wilderness program helping teens be their real self and gain confidence in choosing the right pathways of their lives.

  • Pingback: To seize everything you ever wanted « This is Zemalf()

  • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

    Thanks for this Mr. Penn, we can always use this reminder for sure. Plus, that video is a great one for the morning.

  • http://www.teenwildernessprograms.org/teen-wilderness-programs/benefits-of-an-adult-wilderness-programs.html Mary Reyes

    A great post indeed. It’s worth a motivation especially for an apprentice like me. Mostly, I involve myself in workshops and trainings. I love hanging around with different people, those whom same age as mine that’s why I join some camp program. For now, the opportunity I see is to continue being a part of a wilderness program helping those teens gain self-esteem in making them chooses the right path of their lives.