With the desired result clearly in mind, the desire to act in place and knowing what kinds of resources need to be brought into play, the last piece of the Resource Triangle answers the questions:
“When and where can this be made to happen?”,
“How can I use this situation for my goal?”
“What are the possibilities here?”
The ability to spot opportunities is different from the stages we have looked at before because it asks you to look for what isn’t there – either some element or part of your goal in a situation, or taking something from a situation and adding it into your plan.
In other words, it asks you to scan the world dynamically for possibilities, and “mock up” or test in your imagination how things might work.
It is a definite skill and something that needs work to become an opportunity hound.
It’s at this point that someone usually raises an objection like,
“Oh.. I don’t want to become one of those pushy, presumptuous people…”
At which point I have to say, “I’m not talking about pushy presumptuousness at all – that’s just poor form.
I’m talking about acting on the idea that the world is FULL of possibilities and resources and places where things could be tried, and prosperity can be found, BUT you have to look at and try many things before you find the right ones. There’s nothing pushy about that at all.”
Finding and holding an opportunity viewpoint is not just about self. It’s also about insisting that you lift every experience to its highest level because it is possible AND it is good.
Being opportunity focused means holding criteria about how to make things work, about how to adapt the world to yourself, and adapting yourself to the world.
Being willing to persist in seeking out options and possibilities is an expression of the fullness and commitment generated by the thinking you’ve done in the previous angles of the Resource Triangle.
The secret of the OPPORTUNITIES angle in the Resource Triangle is that it tests your belief in the reality, utility, and possibilities in your goal.
If those are weak; then the KNOWLEDGE resourcing will be weak, as will the MOTIVATION, and desired outcome itself.
OPPORTUNITIES implies actively scanning the world and looking for as many “hows” and “partial hows” and resources and partial resources as you can find.
Rather than “positive thinking” about your goals, OPPORTUNITIES is about positive doings.
It’s the demonstration that you are serious about what you want.
It puts your commitment into practice, and it comes out as a “hustle in your bustle” in pursuit of goals.
The search for opportunities is one of the how’s of getting your schedule and your goals to match up.
The search for opportunities is one of the how’s of creatively pulling together missing resources.
The search for opportunities is one of the how’s of making every occasion an enjoyable chance to refresh your perceptions and look at things differently.
The search for opportunities is a continuous affirmation of the ultimate success of your projects and goals.
Take a project you are working on and, if you haven’t yet done so, craft and refine a written description of it so that the results:
- Are crystal clear
- Make your heart sing when you think about going for it
- Make the process is clearer and clearer
- Show you what resources you have
- Include the resources you need to acquire.
The fun thing with OPPORTUNITIES is that how you work them is as unlimited as possibility itself. Here are some ideas:
Take some part of your goal or project and think back across last week:
- Where did you go and what did you experience that might be useful as either inspiration, creative provocation, borrowable model or precedent?
- What possibilities did you miss for either asking for or giving help to someone else?
- Who might you have spoken with about some aspect of your project? Not to brag or puff yourself up, but to share or compare or learn from? (that could be anyone, by the way…)
- What spontaneous moments could have been used better?
- How will I use what I discovered here to be better prepared to recognize opportunities as they arise next week?
As an example, I dislike traveling on public transport and avoid it if I can.
Last week, I was visiting the same place a few times, and the bus was the most direct way to access it.
On the first day, there was a crazy person speaking out loud about the aliens preparing to come down from the skies.
It was so good and so… novel… in how he told the story;
I made a few notes on my phone for possible creative writing prompts (I mean… what if God… or the aliens… sent this man to give me ideas???? It would be rude not to use them… must resist… the urge… to hit THE CAPS LOCK…)
The second visit, the bus was full of old ladies with their shopping bags with wheels, and their elbows fully sharpened and ready for the shopping scrum.
All the conversations took the following form:
“Yes, I have this disease and that disorder, and pain… My God…growing old is hard… my granddaughter is going… the government should…”.
It was if they were all working off of a script… this led me to several possibilities:
- The universality of suffering and the issues of aging.
- The script idea (I have just had my first screenplay made into a film, and am queuing up for the next one) – give all the extras in an area, bus, plane, etc. The same basic outline of purposes, intentions and discussion topics but allow them to improvise within their character bounds, and function within a scene based on the outline. See what happens. (hmmm… a writer’s workshop with actors?)
- What would have to happen to make these people’s lives just a little bit easier or better? What’s the smallest amount of change in conditions that would have the largest impact?
- I wonder how many countries of origin and native language groups we have on this bus… oops, time to get off the bus.
Any circumstance (even one’s you don’t usually enjoy) can be used to create resources, ideas, better questions, and possibilities.
Make this a part of your life… it’s much better than muttering to yourself darkly as you go about your activities in the world.
The more opportunities you seek; the more (and bigger) opportunities you will find.
I hope you will allow this as a possibility.