Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Opportunity Knocking

One of the most memorable things I've ever learned took place in a 2nd grade classroom.

Back then, our grade school hosted a series of career days. At the time, my mom was running a chain of fast food restaurants. To this day, I'm still convinced that the only reason I had friends that year was because my mom brought in french fries for career day.  But I digress.  The lesson learned had nothing to do with feeding your friends so that they like you.  In fact, after the infamous ChocoTaco debacle of 7th grade, I should have learned that lesson is one worth forgetting.

One of my classmates had an older sister who was married to a Green Bay Packer. If you know anything about Green Bay, you know that means he was pretty much related to a god. The day said player (I honestly wish I could remember his name) came in to talk to us, I'm sure we were all excited to hear about the glamorous life of an NFL player, a lecture on how you should play sports, or a chance to throw a football around.

We weren't prepared for this man to walk into our classroom, hold up a $20 bill, and tell us that whoever took it from him first could keep it.

The entire room full of 2nd graders sat there dumbfounded. What do you mean we can just come take it?

I distinctly remember him giving us multiple opportunities to take that $20 bill. No one moved. We were so afraid we'd somehow get in trouble.

More distinctly, I remember him going into a lecture about seizing opportunities. If someone hands you the chance to do something - something that could make your life a little better, a little easier, make you a little bit richer, a little bit happier - with no strings (or at least very minimal strings) attached TAKE IT. Don't question it. Don't think about all of the bad things that might happen. If you spend too much time dwelling on the negative, you might miss out.

Of course, there are plenty of false opportunities presented to us every day. But when something falls into your lap, when you get a chance to do something you probably never dreamed could happen to you, when everything simply feels right, maybe you should see that as an opportunity to act without thinking it to death.

We all missed out on the $20 bill back then. I wonder if any of my classmates would even remember this story. But for me, it was a defining moment. For the first time I think I realized that if we work hard enough things really might just be handed to us as a bit of a reward.

Big things are happening for me right now and I've been remembering that lesson constantly.

Don't ever pass up the opportunity to do what you know in your heart is right.
Seize that opportunity when it knocks.
Trust that you will find a way to make everything fall into place.



  1. You are so right. Too easily people give up because they don't want to work hard enough for what they want and then blame anyone and anything but themselves for not achieving their dream. Perseverance and the right mental attitude can go a long way. Being open to great things can change your path to a wonderful place when you least expect it.

  2. How did I miss this post first time around? That's such an awesome story, and what a brilliant idea of that player to bring that moment and lesson to you all.


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