They say whatever is said today was already said by someone in the past. This may be true. Yet this does not mean we should refrain from pieces of wisdom and inspiration that life gives us every day. The “opportunity-chance” story is very characteristic in this regard. And it is one of my favorite ones.
The fans of Carlos Castaneda for sure know this by heart. In one of his teachings Don Juan claims we all have a cubic centimeter of chance once in a while:
All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess, to pick it up.
Now, the fans of Mark Twain may recognize a similar refrain in his quote about fortune:
Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.
And the last one (in this post, but not in reality) is Thomas A. Edison with his idea about opportunities disguised in overalls:
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
I respect and admire all of these people. And no wonder they have a similar thought that we all have a chance to boost our life engines. Well, Mark Twain says “once in a life”. I do believe, though, that he rather meant ‘rarely’ or ‘once in a while’ than just ‘once’.
The bottom line is – what all of them are saying is true. Looking back, I am confident I did experience the same at least a few times. I also remember my uncle once telling me this in his own words – that we all have an opportunity once and then, and we gotta grab it.
The question is, however, how do we do it?
Carlos Castaneda (Don Juan) gives a hint here – you need to be aware and alert, “deliberately waiting”. I agree with this on the one hand. On the other hand, however, waiting can be too tiring, and one simply can lose the state of awareness too easily.
So my approach is two-fold (in addition to staying alert). First, you need to ACT, and not simply wait. Or, to be more precise, you need to ACT and then PATIENTLY WAIT. I don’t know which is harder, it differs for me all the time, and I guess it’ll be different for each person.
And second, you need to embrace CHANGE. Because change is opportunity! This can be hard too. This can be extremely hard, in fact. Human beings resist change by nature. But let’s be honest – this is the only way to grow. Perhaps Yes Man with Jim Carrey can be an inspiring start here. 🙂
To sum up, grabbing your cubic centimeter of chance can be achieved as follows:
- BE AWARE it may comment any moment
- ACT to make this moment happen as soon as possible
- BE OPEN to any change
P.S. When preparing this post I realized there is only a one-letter difference between ‘change’ and ‘chance’.
This isn’t by chance, is it? 🙂