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Today’s Post is from Dale Bannister. And it makes for great reading; Thanks Dale:

Does Choice Create Opportunity? by Dale Bannister

Each article (think that’s the correct term) I write, obviously helps me through a process, but they are done, with the hope it helps others more so:-

– A while back a dear friend of mine, explained “choice” to me, seems a strange concept that at my age (46) that it needed explaining, this then leads to the explanation of “opportunity.” I sat quietly until I needed to clarify or ask questions and it became apparent that actually, I didn’t know the meaning of those two words in their “true” sense.

When we look back on our lives, actually sit and think about the times, we did indeed exercise “choice”. Now at the time, we probably didn’t think of it like that, life forced us to act in a certain way, whether that was a particular situation or person, we worked accordingly.

What we did, probably without knowing (though I could argue differently) was to choose how we played that situation out. When we do this, do we understand that the “choice” we made at that particular time, not only takes our lives in a different direction but also opens up windows of “opportunity” which generally wouldn’t have presented themselves?

Some of you might say, well, of course, that’s common sense, it’s bound to!
As I continue to go through my own learning experience, open myself up to new concepts, new thoughts, I choose to reflect on my past and learn from it.

One argument could be, past is past, leave it there. To me there is a difference between dwelling on the past, to learning from the past, guess its easy to get the two confused. I have dwelt on the past, with thoughts of regret, mistakes, what ifs. Now I look at my history, break it down and see the “choices” made, see the “opportunities” missed and taken.

You could argue, what does it matter, you’ve been there done that, doesn’t alter anything. True in regards to those past experiences it can’t, won’t change anything, but understanding the process, will make you think more about decisions that you face in the future, rather than just choosing a knee-jerk reaction?

The best example of me learning this was regarding the business we shut down last year, the knee-jerk choice would have been, to borrow more money from the bank to save the company. Obviously, as a business, you would weight up the pros and cons of doing this, which as responsible, sensible people we did. There was still this huge urge to save the business, yet the thought of “let us borrow the money.” Only until I sat down with my thoughts and weighed up all the choices, that were laid in front of me. I also looked at all the opportunities that could come from each choice; this is something I wouldn’t have typically done if these two words hadn’t of been explained to me in a way that I now see differently. This is my head is now an informed choice, not a knee-jerk choice.
Only after I had gone through this process, I then made an informed choice, to shut it down. Rest is history as they say.

In regards to the above, I am always conscious when I write my articles, that people will either get bored of hearing about my past or take the view of the needs to come to peace, deal with it. I feel I have come to peace with my past, others who know me might argue differently. When I relive it, via these articles, no emotions are stirred, just a thought process; I also know there is a self-healing process going on in the background. So, if I am NOT at peace, like I think I am, by doing this, I soon will be.

Making that choice, then leads to other decisions, but it also opens up the windows of opportunity, things might happen, that normally wouldn’t, couldn’t. Many people don’t see certain things as opportunities: So miss them, you could view them as difficult decisions or something that appears to be hard work. Whether it’s a career, business or a relationship they all take time and effort, money, until they become worthwhile.

As the saying goes, you only get out what you put in: that said, look at all the horrible divorces that occur: Two adults fighting over scraps from their lives together: (one of my favourite Braveheart quotes is, “You’re too busy squabbling for the scraps from Longshank’s table, that you missed your God-given right to something better!”). That’s how I view divorce, however, not having been married, I suggest the principle is the same when a relationship breaks down, and you call it a day, 99% of the time one party, wants more or everything from that relationship.

Very rarely do two people make the informed choice that their relationship isn’t working, that they both contributed to it, therefore let’s just be grown up about this, go 50/50 and let’s be on our separate ways. I would wager those couples who divorced in this manner, will have opportunities present themselves more often than those couples who choose to fight over the scraps.

Why?

Because their focus will be on the scraps, not the small windows of opportunity passing them by. If I ever found myself in that situation where the other party, wanted everything back from the relationship they had put it, I’d say “take it, take whatever you need to make it right in your head.”

As this tells me that my choice to end this relationship was indeed correct and my energies would be much better spent rebuilding my life, then arguing over who gets the coffee table or the TV!

Not all opportunities work out in the way you think they should, could, I only know too well. Two significant opportunities in my life have not gone to plan, a business and a relationship, that said I am VERY thankful, grateful, that:

1) I saw each opportunity
2) I took each opportunity when they were presented
3) I tried my utmost to make them work
4) I learnt from them

If every opportunity or choice for that matter, operated according to plan, life would be so much easier and, in some cases, less painful. If it were that easy, we would never learn and by learning we move forward to the next choice or opportunity.

Choice creates change; change opens up the window of opportunity.

Forced change creates informed choice; the informed decision still opens up the window of opportunity.

Don’t miss the opportunity that could present itself by doing so, however small it may be!

Thank you, for choosing to read this article.

Dale

Dales Website

4 COMMENTS

  1. Another fascinating article, Dale.

    I am intrigued by the idea of choice. As a very young man on his first sales training course I was introduced to the idea of the alternative close. “Would you like us to come around today, or would tomorrow be better”? “Would you like one, or two”?

    Choice only comes from what is possible, and sometimes we can be seduced by the idea of choice, when there is none -just between bad and worse, or good and better. Rarely are we offered the right decision or the wrong decision, even if we knew what they were.

    Choice may create opportunity, it always produces consequences and results. Opportunity is a positive word. I like it. Consequence has negative connotations, it can be just as powerful.

    For me, choice is determined by the consequences of the past, some of which we have control of, some of which we do not.

    Opportunity for me is a consequence of what has come from before. Even a lottery win would not have come if we had not bought a ticket.

    On forced change, is it desirable? Would the consequence of better choices have been unforced change?

    I do believe that in life there is some luck, I also believe in the Gary Player quote “The harder I practice, the luckier I get”

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