Opportunity Knocked But I Wasn’t Listening

A social media expert once told me that I have 30 seconds to capture the attention of the people that point and click their way onto my blog. Thirty seconds to convince them that they should stop surfing long enough to read my post and comment upon it. I wasn’t interested in debating the issue so I didn’t tell them that I don’t worry about that. I didn’t tell them that I believe in building my community around me or why I blog.

I didn’t do it because they weren’t listening and I didn’t have the energy to pitch them on my position.  Too much is happening in my life to expend energy on things that don’t provide a positive ROI.  So I simply don’t do it.

Not long afterwards I sat in on a meeting where people ignored the topic of the meeting and spent precious minutes talking about how often opportunity knocks and how so many people fail to answer the door. Since I am not a fan of silly platitudes I made a face, rolled my eyes and unsuccessfully tried to look interested in the conversation. Silly me, I should remember that Cookie Monster is the only person who can roll their eyes and still look interested. Perhaps I should feel badly that my sour expression put a damper on things but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I just couldn’t listen to it. I didn’t have it in me to listen to them talk about how many times they have come within moments of becoming fabulously wealthy if only they had done XYZ. My life is filled with a dozen examples of things that I could have or should have done. I know them all. I have the mental checklist of all of the things that I blew and am quite aware of the hard work and or pain that I suffered through because I blew it.

But with very few exception I don’t focus upon these things. I know exactly what I truly regret and why the other stuff doesn’t matter.

Read that again: the other stuff doesn’t matter.

Here is what I know. I have succeeded and I have failed. And I have done both more than once. My goal is to end my life being able to say that the successes outweighed and outnumbered the failures.

When I wrote about my frustration and disappointment with my birthday it was because it is the worst birthday I have had. There is no need to sugarcoat or try to hide from the truth. It was bad. It is bad and the reasons why haven’t changed and are unlikely to any time soon. The reasons why are for the most part outside of my control which is why I am frustrated and angry. I am quite good at getting into trouble on my own and I very much dislike being assisted in it. But as my friends and family will tell you I describe as “it is what it is.”

That doesn’t mean that I have given up on this battle because I most certainly haven’t. But I have accepted that I have a limited ability to affect it in the manner that I want. I have accepted that the situation is unfair and that what is happening is unreasonable.

For now I continue to focus on what brings me joy and what makes me happy. Because the reality is that while this moment is unpleasant it is nothing more than a moment. It doesn’t define me unless I chose to let it do so and that I will not do.

P.S. The next time opportunity knocks I am going to open the door and punch opportunity in the mouth, kick it in the balls and then drag that SOB inside where I’ll hold him hostage. Opportunity and I are going to have a nice long talk about the future but we’ll that nonsense for a different post.

 

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30 Comments

  1. Adrienne May 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    My first visit to your blog and a good post to land on for sure.  Yep, I write about the same types of things.  I’ve missed out on my share of “wonderful opportunities” but the way I look at those is that obviously they weren’t meant to be or they weren’t right for me at that time. I mean seriously, why beat myself up over them.  They’re gone, done, bye bye.  Oh well.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Jack.  Always good to hear other people’s perspectives on this subject.  Now, sure hope you are enjoying your day!

    Adrienne

    • The JackB May 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

      @d1f6f72fd673fa202677b90f0774c7af:disqus  Welcome to the blog. I work hard not to make myself crazy about things that I can’t control. It is just not worth the stress.

  2. Adrienne May 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    My first visit to your blog and a good post to land on for sure.  Yep, I write about the same types of things.  I’ve missed out on my share of “wonderful opportunities” but the way I look at those is that obviously they weren’t meant to be or they weren’t right for me at that time. I mean seriously, why beat myself up over them.  They’re gone, done, bye bye.  Oh well.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Jack.  Always good to hear other people’s perspectives on this subject.  Now, sure hope you are enjoying your day!

    Adrienne

    • The JackB May 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      @d1f6f72fd673fa202677b90f0774c7af:disqus  Welcome to the blog. I work hard not to make myself crazy about things that I can’t control. It is just not worth the stress.

  3. Alex | Perfecting Dad May 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    This is exactly right. In a post a couple of days ago I wrote about how I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past, but money is not worth losing sleep over. It’s living and people that matter most of all, especially your family.

  4. Alex May 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    This is exactly right. In a post a couple of days ago I wrote about how I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past, but money is not worth losing sleep over. It’s living and people that matter most of all, especially your family.

  5. Elena Sonnino May 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “it is what it is” is possibly my most favorite saying this year. I am a big advocate of focusing only on the things that are truly within my control- which in a way, is very little.

    • The JackB May 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      @google-0352624b5a72b03965910efd0817218c:disqus  It is very hard to accept that so much is outside of our control, but life is much easier to deal with when we do.

  6. Elena Sonnino May 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    “it is what it is” is possibly my most favorite saying this year. I am a big advocate of focusing only on the things that are truly within my control- which in a way, is very little.

    • The JackB May 13, 2011 at 5:08 am

      @google-0352624b5a72b03965910efd0817218c:disqus  It is very hard to accept that so much is outside of our control, but life is much easier to deal with when we do.

  7. Columbiarose May 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

    “To a man all things are possible but one–he cannot have a hole in the
    seat of his breeches and keep his fingers out of it. A man does seem to
    feel more distress and more persistent and distracting solicitude about
    such a thing than he could about a sick child that was threatening to
    grow worse every time he took his attention away from it.”

    Sometimes, seizing opportunity is less an issue than being able to maintain willful disregard.

    • Columbiarose May 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

      Hmm…the cite was stripped for some reason. It’s a quote from a Twain letter to W. D. Howells, 6/27/1878.

    • The JackB May 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      @122ade50fde0a2b1863cd8e040cd7d6c:disqus  Twain is one of my favorite writers. I don’t know if people really understand or are aware of just how much he wrote outside of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
      He was very sharp.

  8. Columbiarose May 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    “To a man all things are possible but one–he cannot have a hole in the
    seat of his breeches and keep his fingers out of it. A man does seem to
    feel more distress and more persistent and distracting solicitude about
    such a thing than he could about a sick child that was threatening to
    grow worse every time he took his attention away from it.”

    Sometimes, seizing opportunity is less an issue than being able to maintain willful disregard.

    • Columbiarose May 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      Hmm…the cite was stripped for some reason. It’s a quote from a Twain letter to W. D. Howells, 6/27/1878.

    • The JackB May 13, 2011 at 5:08 am

      @122ade50fde0a2b1863cd8e040cd7d6c:disqus  Twain is one of my favorite writers. I don’t know if people really understand or are aware of just how much he wrote outside of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
      He was very sharp.

  9. Stan Faryna May 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

    “The next time opportunity knocks I am going to open the door and punch
    opportunity in the mouth, kick it in the balls and then drag that SOB
    inside where I’ll hold him hostage.”

    Clashing my spears in agreement…

    • Stacey Herbert May 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Me too, I had a smile on my face pretty much the whole time I read this. I’ve been out or sleeping when opportunity knocked, on several occasions..but guess what I’ve discovered…opportunity has lots of siblings who are out and about..so invariably someone from the family will come knocking again. I really liked this post Jack

      • The JackB May 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm

         @caa5cf6b01b96252cda3efee836c0908:disqus You are right about opportunity having lots of siblings. I have found that on more than one occasion that multiple doors have been presented to me. While I couldn’t say that what lay behind every door was gold, the fact was that they were there. You are right about opportunity having lots of siblings. I have found that on more than one occasion that multiple doors have been presented to me. While I couldn’t say that what lay behind every door was gold, the fact was that they were there.

    • The JackB May 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      @faryna:disqus  Good, I’ll have need of those spears. 😉

    • Lori Gosselin May 13, 2011 at 4:33 am

      I’m still laughing at that P.S.  Stan! Thanks for a good laugh to start my day Jack! You GET ’em!

  10. Stan Faryna May 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    “The next time opportunity knocks I am going to open the door and punch
    opportunity in the mouth, kick it in the balls and then drag that SOB
    inside where I’ll hold him hostage.”

    Clashing my spears in agreement…

    • Stacey Herbert May 13, 2011 at 12:58 am

      Me too, I had a smile on my face pretty much the whole time I read this. I’ve been out or sleeping when opportunity knocked, on several occasions..but guess what I’ve discovered…opportunity has lots of siblings who are out and about..so invariably someone from the family will come knocking again. I really liked this post Jack

      • The JackB May 13, 2011 at 5:18 am

         @caa5cf6b01b96252cda3efee836c0908:disqus You are right about opportunity having lots of siblings. I have found that on more than one occasion that multiple doors have been presented to me. While I couldn’t say that what lay behind every door was gold, the fact was that they were there. You are right about opportunity having lots of siblings. I have found that on more than one occasion that multiple doors have been presented to me. While I couldn’t say that what lay behind every door was gold, the fact was that they were there.

    • The JackB May 13, 2011 at 5:10 am

      @faryna:disqus  Good, I’ll have need of those spears. 😉

    • Lori Gosselin May 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      I’m still laughing at that P.S.  Stan! Thanks for a good laugh to start my day Jack! You GET ’em!

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