Let me open my doors

Noel Manuel

I’ve often heard people say that when opportunity knocks, allow it to enter or else it may never come by again. 

Opportunities indeed, don’t come by very often. They come without warning and under a guise. In most cases, we fall short of identifying an opportunity and as a result, fail to make the most of that situation. We literally curse ourselves, when an opportunity slips out of our hands and all we can do is just hope for it to come by again. 

Opportunities that come knocking on the door are hard to identify. That is because the opportunity that comes knocking on the door, is not a product of our creation. And what we haven’t created is hard to identify immediately. 

We spend most of our lives in expectation and hope. We keep expecting and hoping for the very best in our lives – personal or professional. It is this expectation and hope that we build up in ourselves that makes us want to wait for opportunities. 

There are actually only two kinds of opportunities. The one that knocks on our door and the other that creates a door. When we wait for an opportunity to come by the wait is endless and we seldom can identify it. But when we go out to create an opportunity, we learn to make the very best of it and know the results are not very far behind.

The world is full of opportunities and we are constantly exposed to it. We come into contact with opportunities in every interaction. The more we see every situation as an opportunity to do something, the quicker we are able to take control of a situation. And when we take control of a situation, we invariably can also decide the outcome of it. “When I create opportunity doors, I know I have a choice to choose from what I actually want to do. Unlike when opportunity knocks on my door and I can’t even identify it; leave alone doing what I want to do.”

At a counseling session, I had the opportunity of interacting with some graduate students. And as usual, I always put forward the most common question that youngsters are normally asked. ‘What do you want to become in life?’ While some of them had their professional priorities in place, there were others, who did not. I followed this up with another question. ‘How are you going about what you want to become in life?’ And surprisingly, none had their opportunities and priorities in place indicating that we need to create our doors of opportunities to get things done, rather than just waiting in uncertainty for an opportunity to drop by. 

When we create multiple doors of opportunities, we can always be sure that success is not a distant dream. But, when we keep our one door open to let opportunity drop by, our anticipation may just turn to despair.    

Opportunities are the chances and openings that we can create for ourselves at any given moment. The more the chances and openings, the better the options of choosing what is good for us – professional and personal.

The biggest opportunity that I have been able to discover is myself. We don’t necessarily need a perfect place or time to discover an opportunity. We, ourselves, are opportunities.

A teacher once told his pupils that if you ever, were to see anything as an opportunity - it should begin with yourselves. This because, you are the biggest, widest, tallest and deepest opportunity that you could ever discover in your life. 

What the teacher really meant was that when we see ourselves as an opportunity; our abilities, potentials and talents are put to the maximum use in any given situation. And anything that is put to the maximum limits in great enthusiasm, the results are extraordinary – Likewise or Otherwise.

A young man had tried his luck in several interviews without any success. He hoped to create opportunities for himself in his area of specialization. He ran from pillar to post searching for opportunities and all that he ever got to hear was, ‘We will inform you if there is a vacancy.’

His eight years of wait and anticipation ended in despair until one day he saw a man with one leg ride a rickshaw. He was amazed and eager to know what really prompted the man to take up such a profession. When he finally confronted the man one day, he learnt a lesson that was to become his success in life. The rickshaw rider said, ‘If I had to see my disability as a curse, I would have ended up begging and invariably looked down upon with sympathy and pity. I also knew that if I look upon my disability as an opportunity to do something rare, I would be looked high upon with pride and dignity. By now, you must have guessed what I chose to become what I have become.’ 

We all are opportunities waiting to be explored and identified. We have to care less about our weaknesses and strengths or our abilities or disabilities. All we need to do is just make efforts to transform anything into an opportunity. And the results, you and I know, can be phenomenal. I believe that everyone is an opportunity and until we learn to accept this truth, our efforts, to discover opportunities beyond ourselves, will always remain a futile task.

noelmanuel@rediffmail.com

The writer is the Coordinator of the Northeast Region (Poetry Society of India) and Life Member of the Poetry Society of India. Journalist and Correspondent Eastern Panorama (News Magazine of the Northeast) Phonetics Teacher.