Make Your Opportunities

Spring hasn’t sprung where I live, she’s kicked in the door. My blood is boiling with sunshine’s warmth and the energy erupting all around me. Walkers. Joggers. Bike riders. People working hard to achieve or maintain good health. People smiling and glowing beneath the blue sky and gorgeous peaks still wearing their winter coats.

One of the many places to rest or discard trash along our walking paths. Quite pleasant.

One of the many places to rest or discard trash along our walking paths. Quite pleasant.

And there was no wind to steal my breath.

It’s taken me a long time to reach this place in my life and enjoying such a gorgeous day in my chosen home bordered on emotionally overwhelming. I wanted to share the experience as inspiration for everyone working towards similar moments.

And I can’t stress enough that the effort to realize your dreams is worth it for the effort alone. Yes, I mean that. It’s worth it for the effort alone.

For years I waited to act. I wanted this right first, or that right first, and on and on it went. I planned. I researched. I reevaluated. I procrastinated. I eventually reached that place where I was determined to overcome my self-defeating habits.

Sure, in recent months I quit my job and moved 620 miles in a snowstorm to my desired home where I’m finishing my novel. It sounds like it’s all happening easily for me now.

But let’s be clear about the real me, about this heroine who’s defeated a few odds.

Time and again fear drives me to tears or reduces me to advancing on trembling legs. Fear tries hard to steal my sleep and there are nights when it succeeds. Fear, I know, wants to shake me, wants to engage my anxiety and steal the air from my damaged lungs. That’s me. That’s who I am.

I’m someone trying to realize her dream and stumbles and fumbles along the way.

One of the hired help giving her opinion during a long night spent searching for the right fonts for the new website. Details.

One of the hired help giving her opinion during a long night spent searching for the right fonts for the new website. Details.

As it turns out, I was nowhere prepared to setup a website. I had a wonderful man, Jay Donovan at TechSurgeons, build the site for me. I then sat staring at the screen with no idea how to interior decorate. Days and nights were spent in frustration until exasperation threatened to overwhelm me.

I cried. Really. And when my emotions threatened to become self-directed anger I sucked it up and properly directed my efforts: I engaged a website designer (Laird Sapir at Memphis McKay). She’s busy at the moment, but in early April she’s going to tweak the site. Minor work for her equals a colossal undertaking for me, which in business-speak is “opportunity cost.”

Effort, via relentless, advancing determination has a way of breaking through.

The road to your goals is often a sloppy, muddy mess, but when you allow yourself to get your shoes dirty your start to master staying upright. That mastering, which isn’t the goal itself, is when appreciation for the effort comes. It lives right next store to thankfulness.

So I haven’t attained my goal, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished to this point. That’s appreciation for effort. But let’s keep our perspective…

There are materials I must assemble that Laird will need. There’s an online story to continue. There’s a blog needing updated each week. There’s a novel requiring editing. There’s a poetry collection to assemble (tentatively titled, The Renaissance Cycle).

As Ashton Kutcher said last year, “I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.” He was right (and earned my heartfelt admiration in the process for sharing that with young teens).

Opportunity is hard work, it’s effort. It’s also working through the fear on the road to that amazing dream that haunts you, refusing to let you go.

Don’t you let go of that dream. Make the journey.

Unleash your true determination, grab hold of your effort with both hands, and wield it as you make your way through the morass that is the true road to your realized dreams. It’s hard work, but creates opportunities that all the planning in the world couldn’t foresee.

Here is a good place for you to share the efforts that are moving you forward. Stuck? Then please share what your next effort looks like. Relentless effort creates opportunities.

Blue sky, retreating winter, and fresh air that’s great for the lungs. Looks and feels like an opportunity for healthful living and inspiration, to me.

Blue sky, retreating winter, and fresh air that’s great for the lungs. Looks and feels like an opportunity for healthful living and inspiration, to me.

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