Opportunity’s A-knockin’ March 7, 2012 by Chris LeBrun

They say “opportunity knocks but once.” I’m not sure who “they” are but they must be pretty smart. Eminem put a modern spin on it when he said “You only get one shot. Do not miss your chance to blow. Cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” Word to your mother! (Is it just me or does anyone else get their white rappers mixed up?)

Sure, some opportunities come around more than once, but do they really? If I hadn’t bought tickets to the Daytona 500 I could always go next year. Then again, I wouldn’t have been there to see the first Daytona 500 run under the lights in prime-time on a Monday night. And I wouldn’t have seen the #42 Target Chevy spin out of control and into the Servicemaster Clean jet dryer and erupt in a huge ball of fire!

That was (hopefully) a truly once-in-a-lifetime event

It sounds cliche to say that every day is an opportunity but it’s true. And the question truly is, what are you going to do with today’s opportunity.

For some NFL team, today’s announcement that quarterback Peyton Manning was being cut by the Indianapolis Colts opens up a huge opportunity for next year. There are several teams (the Dolphins, Jets, and Redskins, just to name a few) who would love to have the Superbowl winning & 4-time league MVP player leading their team.

But for all the opportunity they will receive with the addition of Manning, whoever takes the newly-minted Free Agent will be taking a lot of risk. Manning set out all of the 2011 NFL season with bone spurs on his neck and has had several surgeries to correct the problem. Manning says he is making a full recovery but the fact is no one will know his exact prognosis until he actually tries to play a game.

So in the words of Dennis Hopper in Speed, “What do you do?” Do you roll the dice on one of the best quarterbacks of the past decade or do you pass in favor of a safer bet?

Maybe the hardest thing is to intentionally pass on an opportunity that you know would bring rewards. In the Manning situation, the salary cap might keep teams for taking Manning, even if they knew for certain that he’d be able to play like he has in the past.

But the fact is all opportunities come with varying amounts of risk and reward. The people who always shy away from risking it all might get lucky once and a while and end up at the Daytona 500 where stuff blows up but they’re rarely going to get to reap the rewards of realizing real opportunities.

The key is taking whatever situation you’re in and turning it into an opportunity. It doesn’t hurt to crank up a little “Lose Yourself” everyone once and awhile, just to pump yourself up for the next opportunity that might come your way!

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