I’m an avid reader and usually have a few books going at the same time. For the past two months, I’ve been captivated by three books:
- Jeff Goins’ The Art Of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do
- Jon Acuff’s Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck
- Greg McKeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
All three of these books are resonating with me in unique ways and challenging with to think more deeply about a variety of things – all related to work and life.
There’s a phrase in Jeff Goins’ book that I just can’t seem to shake. At one point in the book Jeff shares the story of the Carlson family. Here’s the section that struck me:
[…] change was based solely on the presence of opportunity. The operative word being opportunity. […] it was a mix of both trust and intention.
The presence of opportunity … it seems simple enough doesn’t it. If and when we feel the presence of opportunity, in work and life, we should not be afraid to take the first step and explore the possibilities that opportunity may bring.
The problem – or should I say, my problem – is that I’m often too scared to take that first step. I’ve always been one to “walk with a purpose.” It would easy to assume that I’ve got everything figured out and that my life is guided by a singular, well-defined, purpose. More often than not, that’s not the case.
The “presence of opportunity” seems to abound lately and I find myself paralyzed by this. More than ever, taking the first step – with trust and intention – is much harder to do. My reflex is to immediately identify the reasons why I should not respond to this opportunity.
Case and point – after a year-long hiatus – I’ve relaunched The Conversation Hub podcast (check out the new season here). One would think that after 4 years, 185 episodes, countless hours of interviews that I would be eager to get back at it. Not the case…
I decided in September 2014 to get back at it and relaunch. I spent the next 7 months trying to convince myself that it was not the right thing to do. I honestly agonized over doing the podcast again – event when I knew full well that relaunch it was exactly what I needed to do.
In the presence of opportunity, we must change our reflex and follow the advice of Jeff Goins – move forward with a mix trust and intention. When we do that, we’re bound to be surprised and, more importantly, reward.
I’m trying hard to change my reflex and I hope you will to. Go forth and be open to the presence of opportunity.
Sidebar: I was fortunate to have Jeff Goins as a guest on my podcast. You can listen to our conversation here!