Paulo Coelho talks of signs / omens in his books.
I translate this to be opportunities ‘offered’.
No! Not offered, as that implies they are placed in a persons path by something greater; …but opportunities encountered that would only be seen when a solution / suggestion, etc, is required.

Many people pass through life completely unaware of the opportunities in front of the very eyes, and are often to be found complaining that luck is never on their side.
Others pass through life, also completely unaware of the opportunities that appear in their life’s path, but unwittingly use them to their benefit. Why this should happen is beyond me, but happen it does. To other people it simply seems that they are blessed with good luck.
However, I would say that most of us pass through life mostly unaware of the opportunities that arise, except for those that are really standing proud of all other things and screaming loudly at us saying ‘LOOK AT MEEE, TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY NOWWWW!’
These things might be something as simple as a wad of money lying in the middle of a deserted street, or when between jobs, a poster appearing in front of your face advertising that the perfect job is vacant ‘Apply within’.

Other opportunities may be less obvious, such as the chance to change your life for the better by looking at the skills you have, then searching for a highly paid, or highly rewarding job overseas, thus also offering the chance to travel and experience new cultures and places, and to encounter new problems that force new ways of thinking. Thus a person will grow. They will become more than when they first set out.

However, if a person already has a very settled life with everything ticking along smoothly, then it will take a level of bravery and courage to make the change. ‘I don’t need to do that. I’m content as I am.’ …as Paulo Coelho would ask… ‘Are you happy with that…? Really? Are you sure that there’s nothing that you would change if you could?

So, how does a person go about learning how to see these opportunities that they are currently blind to?

I would say that the first thing to do to would be to take a good long hard look at your current life, searching for those things that you’re not actually happy with, or perhaps there are things that you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done.
Sit down right now and make a written list of the things that you would like to do, or like to be able to do, or places you’d like to go, things you’d like to see, people you’d like to meet, etc.

Go on… go make that list…!  …go! Shoo!

Made the list? Really?
Good.

The next step is to write next to each thing the reasons why you haven’t, to date, fulfilled the aspiration.

Off you go…!

Now read back through the reasons you’ve given and start to cross through those that:
1)    are to do with what other people might think.
2)    are due to a fear of the possible consequences ‘What if this should happen?’ ‘What if that should happen?
3)    are to do with hurting a loved one, or close friend.
4)    are to do with your own doubt as to whether you can actually carry out the tasks required.
5)    are to do with emotional pain that you will likely suffer from.

Perhaps as you were crossing them through, you realised that each of these things that you’ve crossed through are in fact, merely obstacles that you have allowed to develop into something that is apparently insurmountable.
But in reality, these obstacles are rarely insurmountable.

The following are the reasons why they are crossed through:
1)    What people might think: This is actually a figment of your imagination, no matter how accurate it might be. But people change what they think…
When you commit yourself to the dream, people might say ‘You’re mad! Everything’s ok with your life, why risk losing it?’ To which the answer might be ‘Why risk it staying the same? Yes, it’s comfortable, predictable and safe. But where’s the fun and adventure in that?
But you know that when you’ve actually gone and lived that part of the dream, then returned as a person richer by experience, that some of those people will say ‘Oh, wow! I wish I could do that – it sounds fantastic!

2)    Fear of possible consequences: Quite simply; until encountered, how do you know what the consequences will be? Don’t forget that there are also consequences of not doing things. It is all to do with ‘cause and effect’.
An action carried out in response to a given situation will have an effect that will define a new situation, then that will drive another action, and so on. We live our lives in this way everyday.
However, what about the effect of a non-action? This will also have a consequence, but a consequence that brings about a different effect to that which an action would have brought about… therefore there is no such thing as non-action. (This is the first time I’ve realised this!)
So, why allow a fear of possible consequences to restrict your life’s potential? The chances are that if you choose a different action to that which you would normally take, the consequences will be different to what you might have expected!

3)    Fear of hurting a loved one, or close friend: Ok, this sounds like quite a valid reason for not doing something, but as with the ‘consequences’ above, unless you are actually choosing to do something that is directed toward, and intended to be detrimental to the person that is close to you, then the chances are that your fear is actually a fear of harming them emotionally.
However, if they have the same strong feelings toward you and your well-being, then surely they wouldn’t stand in your way if you want to try something new… even if it does mean being away from them for some time.

4)    Fear of failure: In every thing we do, every day, there is the possibility of failure; of the expected, or hoped for outcome, not being what was desired. However, most of us live lives of routine.
To clarify what is seemingly obvious, a life of routine means that we follow the same, or nearly the same patterns of behaviour on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cycles. As long as we don’t break the mundane cycle, we know that all will be well… because it always is!.
If something goes wrong, we can usually look back to see what was different, then the avoidance of this change becomes incorporated within our daily cycles so that it won’t happen again.
Failure is not really a possible outcome, because the very idea of failing generally means that we are attempting to do something that is outside of the norm. Something that we are not practiced at. Something that is not within our comfort zone.
There are many many people who are too scared of failing, that they won’t even try. They refuse to step out of their comfort zone and learn something new.
My way of thinking is that if a person fails at something, then it doesn’t matter as they will have tried. As long as they don’t allow that failure to stop them in the tracks, and that they try again, then they have learned something new. They have grown as a person.

5)    Fear of personal emotional pain: Again, Paulo Coelho tackles this in his book ‘The Alchemist’
     ‘My heart is afraid it will get hurt’ said the boy.
     ‘Tell your heart that the fear of the pain is worse than the pain itself.’ said the Alchemist.
Often the fear of something, the fear that holds a person back, is worse than the actual emotions encountered when confronting those fears.
How many times have each of us said ‘Oh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!’ and how many times have we each said ‘That was worse than I thought it was going to be!
We’ve all used both statements, but I’ll bet the first one is used more often by most people…

Sometimes a person must simply grit their teeth, cross their fingers, hope for the best , and jump right out of their comfort zone. It is the only way to break the daily mundane routine.

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