Cala Boix, Mallorca, Spain (photo enhancements by Hector Bird, H&M Bird Photography)

Cala Boix, Mallorca, Spain (photo enhancements by Hector Bird, H&M Bird Photography)

I find myself looking for it. But, really, what the heck is it that I am looking for anyway? It if were right in front of me, would I see it?

At work, frequently I hear my colleagues talk about opportunity. They are usually talking about a project or a job or a promotion.  Just how do you find those kinds of opportunities anyway?  Sure, you can look for them on job posting boards. And, you might see one that you like. However, it seems to me that in order for the opportunity to become yours depends on seizing a lot of opportunities prior to reaching that point – opportunities that show up every single day…the opportunity to connect with the person you sit next to or talk to on the phone, the opportunity to collaborate with your team and really be curious about the solution, the opportunity to engage in the task that needs to be done right now, the opportunity to ask for help when you don’t have an answer, the opportunity to be vulnerable and share what you are really thinking or feeling, the opportunity to bring your unique talents to the table and contribute, the opportunity to choose love or grace or joy…

I believe opportunities are everywhere.  They are available every day, in every moment.  They just might not be packaged in the way we expect.

Try This!

Opportunity Reflection

  • How do I define opportunity?
  • How might I expand my definition of opportunity?
  • What kinds of opportunities do I want to embrace?
  • Where do I see opportunities in my work and life?
  • What if I believed opportunities were everywhere?
  • What can I do to see more opportunities in my life?
  • What enables me to see opportunities?
  • How can I open to opportunities?
  • What can I do to support taking action when I see opportunity?
  • How do I grow from the opportunities that I seize?

Opportunity Thinking  

  • Pick a day, and for that entire day, or the morning, or the afternoon, or for one hour – whatever works for you – try to see as many opportunities as you can.
  • Open your mind, look for the smallest things that you can call opportunities. An opportunity might be to have a second cup of coffee. It might be to say no to that meeting you don’t think you need to attend. It might be to ask your colleague how she’s doing. It might be to take the dog for a walk to clear your head. It might be to hug your child just because you can.
  • Write down the opportunities you identified. Look at them. Consider all of the opportunities you identified. Explore what they mean to you.
  • Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to appreciate the opportunities that show up in your life every day. Make a commitment to yourself to take the action.

Word Cloud

Opportunity Wordle

For me, the secret to seeing opportunities, in all their different forms, is slowing down. When I slow down, I feel more alive, I engage more, and I actually get more done and feel good about it.



By Vicki L. Flaherty

Slowing down.

I see with clarity.

Slowing down.

I hear what people are saying.

Slowing down.

I feel the energy around me.

Slowing down.

I speak in the direction of truth.

Slowing down.

I find power within me.

Slowing down.

I breathe into the world.

And, I awaken

Quotes to Contemplate

  • If your eyes and ears are open, you will see the windows of opportunity around you. ~Cherie Carter-Scott
  • Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. ~Tony Robbins
  • Change brings opportunity. ~Nido Qubein
  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. ~Winston Churchill
  • We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. ~Charles R. Swindoll
  • Life’s up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals – Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want. ~Marsh Sinetar


Click on the link below to access a February calendar that features highlights from this post, which is available as a downloadable pdf. 

February 2013 Opportunity Calendar

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2013


9 thoughts on “Opportunity

  1. Vicki, love this one … love the topic and your perspective on it.
    My opportunity today .. taking 10 min in the afternoon to read your blog!!!
    Sending loves, Dorota

    • Dorota, you are always so good at putting great ideas into practice! Vicki – lovely. I will put this to good use in Ireland…. because there is SO MUCH TO SEE. Every corner is a discover, every person so darn friendly (I love these guys). Nice job on the photo, Hector. Onward!

  2. I agree with you, Vicki. Opportunities come in different packages. These may not be exactly what think we want, but it is up to us to seize them and make the best of them. They may lead to surprising opportunities in the future. It is the journey, and who we meet along the way, that matters after all.

    Love the poem! Some of us are always running so fast, that sometimes we forget about the important things. I am slowing down now … I see opportunities all around me. Thank you.

    • Hector, thank you for sharing your perspective. I love how you embrace opportunity!

      And, I just realized I did not give you credit for enhancing the photo that is at the top of this month’s blog! I am fixing that now! Thanks for your partnership on having great photos for my post!

  3. “I believe opportunities are everywhere. They are available every day, in every moment. They just might not be packaged in the way we expect.”

    There’s a lot to what you say. And it reminds me of an old Buddhist koan I heard once.

    An old monk sits talking to a younger monk.
    “When I was young, I went to the mountain, and saw … a mountain,” says the old monk.
    “When I was older, I went back to the mountain, and saw … no mountain,” he followed.

    The younger monk thought for a moment then asked,
    “What did you see on your last trip to the mountain?”

    “A mountain.” the older monk replied.

    It was a tough story for me to grasp and seems to have no point.

    But opportunities are like that as well. We may not recognize them, because we expect them to look different. Or, as you say, they “might not be packaged in the way we expect.” But that doesn’t mean they aren’t right in front of us.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and I hope Iowa City is treating you well this winter. (I’m from Perry originally)


  4. Eric, hello fellow Iowan! (I’m actually from – well, I’m not sure…I grew up moving all over since my Dad was in the Navy…I’ve lived here 12 years and that’s the longest anywhere so guess I AM from here 🙂 ) Thanks for sharing the story. So much has opened up to me as I’ve kept my eyes open for the ‘hidden’ opportunities in front of me. Here’s to our tuning in to notice them, Eric!

  5. Pingback: Opportunity | This Abundantly Delicious Life

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