Generally speaking, we all want to be successful, productive, flourishing beings. But generally speaking, we simply are not.
Because we are lazy. We are so used to alarm clocks waking us up, the internet providing the answers to all our questions and social media telling us the latest gossip, that we expect everything to be served to us on a fine china plate.
If you want to be average then fine, live like this. I mean, if this gives you survival and happiness, then be my guest. But deny it all you wish; you want more.
In Maslow’s theory of motivation, he suggests that the common goal of all working humans is self-actualisation. This is the idea of reaching full potential- ‘enlightenment’, you could say. However, it is also important to note that Maslow proposed that this could never be truly reached, because we as humans will constantly strive for more.
And do you know what? I love that! I love that I have been born into this species of ambition and determination. Yet even though self-actualisation may not be fully achievable, I would at least like to have a good shot at it.
So how can this be done?
First things first: Stop waiting for opportunities to magically present themselves; make them. And, stop using excuses to protect your self-esteem and reputation; we all know you’re just lazy.
However, it is very easy to say ‘make your own opportunities’; but not so easy to act upon. Many a time, people have presented me with this phrase. And each time, I have left the conversation feeling pumped up and motivated…. but all for nothing. All for nothing because i simply did not know how to make these said opportunities.
Well, I think I finally have the sledgehammer to knock this wall down.
Before you go wandering the streets, eyes peeled for something screaming ‘SUCCESS’ to greet you, have a think about what you actually want to achieve- or even just a general idea. For example: I know that these are a few of my aims…
- Go somewhere with my writing
- Make a stand with human rights
- Succeed in my exams and go to university
- Give motivation to others
As you can see, these aims are very vague! But that’s the whole purpose of making your own opportunities; they really can take you in any direction.
So now you have these aims, it’s time to work out how to get there. I found it useful to brainstorm everything I could possibly think of to do with the aim, and then choose the ones which most appealed to me. With the aim of ‘go somewhere with my writing’, my brainstorm contained all sorts: Blogging, competitions, poemhunter, book writing, article writing… And immediately, I could see these opportunities emerging.
If I now entered a competition and won it, it would mean I had succeeded the aim. And the way I would have succeeded the aim is by creating my own opportunity (by finding and entering that competition).
It is as simple as that.
Too often, we wait for someone to give us a shove before we stumble into success. We wait for someone to grow an idea in our minds that we had actually already planted a long time ago. We are awake for roughly 720 minutes a day- if not more- and all we can come up with is a meek idea every month? I don’t think so.
It’s time to be sharp. To be innovative. To be motivated.
It’s time we say goodbye to the TV (not completely, don’t worry!) and hello to the drawing board.
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. -Milton Berle
Next post: The little things that mean a lot