I coach basketball. The other day I was spending some extra time with one of my players. I was trying to teach him some of defensive principles he is going to need to know, not just to be effective this year, but also to help him make it in high school. He didn't give a good effort and he really wasn't mentally or physically into what I was trying to teach him because he thought his way was better, and the time that he was spending with me on defense he would have rather spent working on his offensive game. He didn't value the individual time that I was giving him nor did he see it as an opportunity to improve in a way that will get him to his ultimate goal. It made me think, the very opportunity that this young man has to be taught by someone who can give him the very foundation he needs to achieve his desired goal is right in front of him; but, for whatever reason, he doesn't recognize or value it.
We all have a natural born inclination to walk in greatness. We are wired that way. It is evident in the movies we watch were the hero saves the day, or the sports team we watch looking to win a championship. We just don't want success on a small scale, we desire to walk in some level of greatness. As life goes on it would seem that if it hasn't already happened for us that the opportunity for greatness is not available to us. Maybe it would seem that we never had the same the opportunities that the rich and famous have been privileged to experience; but that may not be the case. Maybe the opportunities came and come our way but we miss out on them because we never recognized them as opportunities in the first place, or we didn't properly appraise the value of the opportunity that we were given.
The Insider has an article called "16 People Who Missed Out on a Fortune" that gives examples of people who didn't recognize the opportunity in front of them. One of Steve's Jobs first bosses turned down an opportunity to invest seed money in to Apple, an one of Apple's co-founders sold his 10% share for $800 just 2 weeks after launch. The opportunity was there, they just didn't recognize the value of the opportunity that was presented to them. Mark Zuckerberg's college roommate turned down an opportunity to start Facebook because his father discouraged him because the previous project they did together got them in trouble with the university. Being that I am a Google fanboy, this one is my favorite. One guy missed out on an opportunity to seed Google and avoided meeting with the founders because their first office was someone else's garage.
How many people do we not give the attention that we should? What opportunities for relationship or business have we miss out on because we are too busy or didn't see them as important? What opportunities have we missed out on because we didn't take a step of faith or make a move because we were afraid that things might not work out? This year is going to be a great year for those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones, remove the limitations and excuses, jump on and make the most of the opportunities that they have been given. Greatness many times isn't reached by giant leaps, but by a multitude of steps. This year let's make the most of our opportunities and take a step towards greatness.