Opportunities are all around us. They take all forms, shapes, and sizes. Sometimes showing up is about going to class prepared with your homework complete. Other times, showing up is about accepting an invitation. Often in life, showing up is about applying for that job you’ve been interested in, the scholarship that will pay for your education, or a fellowship program you think might impact your world-view. Regardless of the form an opportunity takes, it is a wasted chance if you do not show up.
There is also something brilliant about showing up. It is the prerequisite of every opportunity. And the fact of the matter is that most people do not bother showing up at all. They have the tools in their hands to show up, they are even invited by others to do so, yet they do not afford themselves the opportunity. If you can successfully shift your mentality from one of doubt to one of optimism, then you will find yourself showing up more often than anyone else. Just by pure numbers, you will excel beyond everyone around you who stayed at home.
You cannot walk through a door if you do not first walk up to it. Some doors may never open despite how hard you pound on them. Other doors that are wide open are useless if you don’t approach them to see what might be on the other side.
Showing up can be exhausting at times. By following the guidelines outlined below, along with those covered in further detail in Exponential Happiness, you will find yourself living a life full of opportunities taken, instead of opportunities missed.
Here is a quick scenario. Has anyone ever asked a question to a group you were a part of? I am confident the answer is yes. How do you tend to respond to questions when asked in a group environment? Do you shy away from replying? Do you get nervous about having the “right” answer? Do you jump right in, eager for the opportunity to be included?
For many, being questioned is uncomfortable. There is pressure not to let the other person down by giving lousy information or replying “no” if it is a request in the form of a question. The worst thing is when we know our response is accurate, but we speak without confidence, and then others don’t have faith in our answer.
Merely being asked a question, like most things, sounds simple. But it isn’t. Like all things, there is a discipline to rehearsing replying with confidence.
Raising your hand is a great way to bond your physical and emotional state when responding to the inquiry. Make a habit of volunteering your intellect. Make a habit of volunteering to show up. When anyone around you asks any nature of the question, jump eagerly at the opportunity to be included.
Don’t stress about having the right answer every time. Most questions don’t even have a “right” answer, but a set of possible responses.
I moved to the American deep south when I was 14 years old. What I quickly came to learn about the infamous Southern Hospitality is that as polite as it is to extend an invitation, it appeared to be equally courteous to decline. I didn’t know that. I accepted every invitation.
Saying “yes” led me to be involved in community theater, making my best friend, and being accepted into an international youth exchange program that changed my life.
You won’t always be able to say “yes.” Life is full of responsibility, and we only have a finite access to the resource of time. Do your best to practice saying “yes” and watch how the opportunities come at you more and more.
Check out my book Exponential Happiness for loads more details on this and other topics to help you in your pursuit of happiness!
If you’re not yet ready to dive into a book, then please leave me a comment below with any questions you have, and I will be happy to advise you the best I can directly.
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