As we head out on our trek this week, we want to shift our mindset from looking for opportunities to creating opportunities. There may be a fine line here, but if you are looking for opportunities, you are assuming that they are already available. Creating opportunities requires that we assemble the puzzle pieces of our life in order to create the opportunities that we desire. As we create these opportunities, we want to look at the 7 trails that will make a significant impact on our world each day.
Come along with me and imagine that we pass by a beautiful clear lake nestled in the mountains, and it provides us a time to consider our ability to impact everyone that we meet, either in person or online. In order to create those opportunities we desire, we must be seekers and have an unquenchable hunger to be difference makers.
As I throw a huge rock into the lake, we see the ripples extending from it in ever-widening circles. In the same way, as we create opportunities, we will make an impact on our world that will send out never-ending ripples in our ever-widening circles of influence. This will allow us to “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” as Mahatma Gandhi encouraged.
Honing your greatest talents and skills through your authentic message is the key to successful contributions as an opportunity creator, which will lead you to survive and thrive in the fast-changing world. By making new opportunities through these 7 trails that we are hiking this week, you have the capability of achieving immense accomplishments.
There is one caveat, though…To create real opportunities, you must focus on how others will also benefit from the opportunities that you create. None of us live in a vacuum. We must always be looking for ways to help others improve, and in doing so, we will also be creating positive opportunities for ourselves. As we explore these seven trails, I will first ask you a question, “What opportunities can we create together, and how can we accomplish this?”
1. Become an opportunity maker for others.
It is essential to become an opportunity maker for others first! Everything else will naturally flow and follow. Jesus said it this way in Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
2. Collaborate and provide support.
It is a true art to collaborate with people that act, think, and process information differently than we do! That is where the true magic takes place! The most beautifully sung songs are not when everyone is singing the same notes in unison but when each person is singing different notes in harmony. Paul wrote to the church in Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”
3. Connect with each other.
Truly and deeply connecting with another person is art. It can happen only when we are fully present, aware, and open, leaving any judgment aside. That is the moment when true greatness enters the room! Luke 6:37-38 puts it this way, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
4. Express appreciation for others.
Appreciation is a simple yet profound concept that when only done genuinely can fully unfold. It will also allow others to appreciate you and all of your efforts more!
As Paul instructed Timothy in his second letter to him in Chapter 2 verse 24, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.”
5. Share your story and connect with others.
The power of storytelling and sharing will not only assist you in connecting with others but create the safe space for others to share their stories and deep desires and passions. This sharing allows opportunity-making to grow at the speed of light. Jesus was a master storyteller such as this example in Mark 4:1-3, “Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: ‘Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.'”
6. Share your best thoughts and talents.
What are your best strengths and talents? This is an excellent starting point to discover and then hone those strengths and talents even further so that each one of us is fully ready to significantly contribute. In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he describes the gifts that are given to each of us in Chapter 12 verse 7, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
7. Think big ideas and concepts.
The world is indeed very hungry for people with big ideas, innovative minds, and new concepts that can make differences now! It is so powerful to observe the energy and synergy of a group of people in action while sharing their common interests and unique perspectives and opportunities. Paul in his letter to the church in Ephesus described it in this way in Chapter 3 verses 14 through 16, “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”
As we have briefly explored these 7 trails on how to create opportunities in our lives and the lives of others, let us journey on and create a legacy – a legacy that matters! Be a legend in your legendary way.