A Different Perspective: If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door

On the journey of life we meet so many people, interesting and unique in their own way. They come and go, and some may only be with us for a short while, but the light they can bring into our lives can mean so much. Sometimes it takes just one person to change our way of thinking, or to give us the push we need to become a better person.

An ex-girlfriend once told me the world was not going to stop to make a place for me; I had to make my own place in the world. If I didn’t create it, no one else would. There was quite a bit of logic to her words.

Often, we wait for opportunities to present themselves to us, and some people wait a lifetime for something that will never come. We delude ourselves with the notion that others somehow control our destiny. Truth is, successful people don’t wait for opportunities, they make them. They take initiative and create their place in the world.

There’s a quote from a Masters of the Universe comic that has always stuck with me: “Waiting on fate is nothing more than an excuse for lack of motivation.” How many times do we wait on fate? The old adage is “good things come to those who wait,” but I think Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and essayist during the Renaissance, put it best when he wrote, “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

We cannot wait on fate, we cannot hope life will turn out well if we simply stand by and put in no effort. We must take action, we must hold on to our dreams and goals and see them through, because no one else is going to do it for us. We are in control of our own destinies and it is our decisions — our initiative — that determines how successful we are.

Life isn’t perfect, but we should seize each moment as it comes and make the most of every opportunity. And, as in the words of Milton Berle, an American comedian and actor during TV’s golden age, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

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A Different Perspective is an ongoing column by Jesse O. Walls, exploring his philosophies of life.