Often, opportunity is Within and Attitude is the Key.
Last week I was reading a book when I came across a short story that made me marvel a lot. It was about a certain farmer in Africa who lost all because of the wrong attitude and discontentment. He failed to sense that an opportunity was right below his feet.
The story begins by telling us that there was a farmer in Africa who was happy and content. His contentment was because he was happy. Simply to say that happiness and contentment have a direct proportionality. We can never be happy if we are discontented neither can we be contented if we are not happy.
Most of the time our happiness and contentment get directly tied to what we have. Some people have so little and yet are happy because they are contented with that little. Others have a lot in their possession yet are unhappy not because they don’t have enough but because they are not are contented even with that much.
Back to our farmer story. So, one day a wise man came along and told this farmer that if he found a diamond the size of a thumb, he could own a city. He even added that If he found a diamond the size of his palm, he could own a country.
When the farmer heard of this, contentment disappeared into obscurity and now he wanted this diamond irrespective of where he found. He desired for what he didn’t have and wanted to go wherever he could to find these diamonds.
The farmer then went ahead and sold the farm he had and set out to find diamonds. He took all the money he made out of the sale, gave some to his family for care and went out in search across Africa. Unfortunately, he didn’t find any. He went to Europe and didn’t find any either. By the time he was getting to Spain, he was physically, emotionally and financially broke.
The story of the farmer ended tragically because out of stress, he decided to throw himself into the Barcelona river and committed suicide. Such was the sad end of the life of a man who at some time enjoyed the best life would offer according to his needs.
Back home, the person who bought the farm was watering his camels in the morning by the stream that went through the farm when he noticed a sparkle from the river due to the morning sun rays. He went closer and found a small sparkling stone.
He then thought to himself that he it would look good on the mantle piece. He picked up the stone, went and placed it in the living room. And that afternoon the wise man came back and asked the new owner, “Is Hafiz back?” The new owner of the farm said no and asked the wise man why he had asked about Hafiz.
The wise man replied by saying that he had noticed the diamond. He had experience with diamonds and could identify one when he saw it. The new owner of the farm replied by refuting that it was not a diamond but rather a simple stone he had picked from the river in the farm that morning. He went ahead to ask the indulgence of the wiseman to come along and he would saw him more of the stones.
They then took a few of the rocks and sent out for analysis and sure enough the results came back that they were diamonds. It was then than they realized the farm was covered with acres and acres of diamonds.
The original owner of the farm had left the opportunity right below his feet and went looking elsewhere thinking that the grass was greener on the other side. Lo and behold when he realized that it wasn’t and ended up committing suicide.
And how does attitude become the key for us to unlock opportunities below our feet? The right attitude helps us realize that we are walking upon large tracts of diamonds which simply means opportunities. It thus means that opportunity is always right there with us and all we need to do is to simply recognize. We don’t have to necessarily go anywhere. With the right attitude we can do this.
Another important lesson is that for those people who aren’t able to recognize an opportunity, they complain about the noise when it knocks. Others are too lazy to simply open the door. The worst thing with opportunity is that it always knocks once. Although there can be other or next opportunity knocking the door, it never means that it will be good enough, Chances are that it will be good or may end up being a very bad one.
Let us also recognize that when we are busy dyeing the grass on our side, there are so many people who are ready and willing to trade sides with us and water the grass. We simply need the right attitude and realize that all the grass needs is watering and not dyeing.
Let us not be like the hunter who kept praying for a rabbit to kill for his family and when God presented him with an antelope, he let it go because all he had asked earnestly from God was just but a small rabbit for his family food for that day. He wouldn’t see that God wanted to give them food for the next couple of days.
Let’s learn to identify opportunities and exploit them when we see them and realize too that they are never too far away. They are always within but we need to remember as well that opportunities get lost as well.