The focus of this fourth article of the series centered on how to improve self and help others do the same, is on the opportunities available to everyone. One of the beauties of life in general is the availability of opportunities in one form or the other to all persons to be turned into assets to benefit self and others.
What is then an opportunity? What are the kinds of opportunities that are open to all persons? How may one recognize and make the most of the opportunities within reach? This article will explore below. The third article on the power of sheer determination observed the following points:
Many times in life what differentiates between a successful person and the one who falls by the wayside or falls short of full potential is determination. The same temptations, challenges, problems and unbearable pain that cause many to give up can be overcome and turned into assets by the determined person. A lot of drive and passion keep the determined individual going while the intelligent, better educated and well-resourced falter and be left stagnant and behind forever.
Helen Keller is a perennial example of sheer determination. She lived in the late 1880’s and early 1900’s. Made blind and deaf by a debilitating disease at the age of nine, she rose above the challenges in those days of being blind and deaf to acquiring a university degree and becoming an author, a lecturer, and an activist for the disabled. She could have mourned and blamed other people for her condition. No, rather she worked extra hard and excelled above many normal persons!
Another shining example of the power of determination is that of Nelson Mandela who stayed in jail for twenty-seven years in a cause he knew to be right and for the sake of resisting evil and thereby inspiring many to carry on the struggles from where he left off. Determination and perseverance can break the power of the heartlessness of tyrants, corrupt and powerful holders of wealth, privileges and authority and give victory to the poor and powerless who carry on in the face of what may appear insurmountable. Anyone who wants to move ahead in life in a positive direction and inspire others to do the same must have and keep the potent weapon of determination.
Determination can aid one convert opportunities into readymade usable resources to make life better for all. How? An opportunity is by definition a chance or favorable circumstance or condition to do something or make some progress or profit. An opportunity can take the form of time, resource or a favorable situation to improve.
Like a gift or talent God has endowed all persons with some opportunity of some kind. There is hardly anyone has no opportunities of any kind at all. Some people have more than others but I do not know anyone who has no opportunity to make something of himself/herself. The availability of time, favorable age, raw materials, a natural talent, learning institutions, self-employment chances, employment facilities, industrial and entrepreneurial possibilities constitute vast opportunities to make good use of to better self and others.
What is often overlooked in seeking opportunities is recognizing problems, challenges, crises and even denials of rights as hidden sources of opportunity.
Recognizing therefore opportunities in myriad forms around and in each one of us is the real challenge. We all need plenty of wisdom made of common sense to see great potentials in ourselves and the people and things and circumstances around us. Liberia is a classic case. There are just so much natural resources lying around: a fertile soil latent with agricultural economic value, plenty of rain and sunshine, enough warmth and cold, diamonds, gold, iron ore, signs of commercial quantity of oil, fish, animal and bird of all types and kinds in a nation with a small population (three point five or 4 million people).
Of course there is one thing to perceive potentials and opportunities in self, environment, circumstance and persons around and quite another to take advantage of them and turn them into tangible assets that can be used to improve the quality of life for self and others. This requires a lot of perceptiveness, determination and the courage to act on what one envisions and dreams about. Creativity and the ability to communicate effectively what one sees through the senses and inspires others to come on board and convert dreams and great imaginations into usable assets is one of the great needs of individuals and societies. True faith in the living God should produce a lot of vision, energy and passion to make excellent use of what is already God-given. Genuine faith should inspire to multiply what is available in self and around self.