Have you ever wondered how some people have the special knack to be at the right place at the right time? They always seem to find opportunity or are successful at things that seem to find them. You may be thinking that they are just lucky or that they have some special magical power that attracts these opportunities to them. You might be right in both cases! But what if they are just better prepared then the next person? The old saying that when preparation and opportunity come together you have success has a lot of truth to it. Although many of you might be telling yourself that you have prepared for things through school, special training or your life experience and you seem to miss a lot of these once in a lifetime opportunities. I agree, because I’ve been there myself, but in talking with those who have grabbed the “Brass Ring” and held on, they have told me that many times instead of waiting for opportunity, or for their ship to come in, you might just have to jump off the dock and swim to it! I’d like to illustrate this with a couple stories that I have personally witnessed and gone through.
Recently, someone very close to me had the opportunity to share something that they experienced to a large group. The individual in charge of the presentation was interested in having a more scripted version of the presentation. Well, the presenter was use to speaking from the heart, being authentic and very interactive. My first thought was to ask, “How well to you know the material?” She expressed that she lived it and was passionate about it. Great! Then do the best you can, prepare your script, but for the presentation prepare some bullet points on a note card and speak from your heart, the key was to be authentic. My thought was that people don’t want to be read to, they want to feel they are part of the experience. Also because you know it, you should be able to keep your story within the time restraints given. It worked! She was amazing! It came across as if you had experienced the journey with her. The group was pulled into the experience. Why did this happen? She was prepared and opportunity was presented. She was able to present in her style because she had internalized the adventure and spoke authentically from the heart.
MOTIVATED BY FEAR
Ten years ago I had an awesome opportunity to present at an International Conference on Spinal Cord Injuries, in Iceland. I was asked to present about my unique approach to rehabilitation. Boy what an opportunity, plus all expenses paid. How cool was that. I started preparing, putting together video of some of my most successful clients and preparing my talk. I had convinced myself that I had to be perfect because I would be presenting to a group of medical professionals from all over the globe. I arrived in Iceland for the conference and I was ready. I immediately ran into a couple problems I hadn’t prepared for. The system they had for video was different that what I had. They thought they would be able to adapt. Fifteen minutes prior to my talk I was told no video, oops! No problem, I had my script. I got myself psyched for the biggest talk of my career. I confidently walked to the front of the room, script in hand. The head presenter, a good friend, introduced me and I was on. I calmly reached for my notes and I couldn’t read them. I wear contacts for distance vision, so close up reading required special glasses, which I didn’t bring, and the lighting was poor. I was never known for details! I had this crazy feeling come over my body, first I started to heat up and sweat and then a chill came over me. This had to be fear! I looked over at my friend, who had no idea what was going on. This seemed like an eternity although it was only a few seconds. I again calmly put my notes in my pocket and began my presentation. I told myself, “You Know This!” Just talk from your heart, be authentic. I moved around the room with confidence and after 20 minutes or so and another 15 minutes of Q&A, which they had discouraged other presenters because of time, I had one of the biggest success of my life. Why? I was prepared because this was my passion; it was easy to talk about my passion. I also believe they allowed more time because I had interacted so well with the group by pulling them into my world. All this happened because I was ready for the opportunity. Actually in this case I believe I had to swim out to the ship, by choosing not to give up when all was coming down on me.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
My last story centers around one of my favorite movies, which many Gen X’ers may not relate to but us Baby Boomers sure do. The Wizard of Oz offers amazing insight wrapped around a wonderful story. Quickly let me explain. The smartest person in the story was the Scarecrow, and all he wanted was a brain. The kindest was the Tin man and all he wanted was a heart, the bravest was the Lion and all he wanted was courage, and of course Dorothy could have gone home whenever she wanted if she had just asked. All of these wonderful characters had success when presented with the opportunity because they were all blessed with special talent and life had prepared them well. They just lacked confidence, which, if you remember was given to them by the Wizard, from a sack. The symbol they were given gave them confidence to believe in the ability they already had! How many of us have the same special ability, some greatness within us, if only some “Wizard” would just reach in his bag and hand us some confidence? I have seen many lives change, including my own, by realizing I was special and I can make a difference. Although we all love to be encouraged, you can’t wait for this to happen. You need to prepare for your opportunity and then go get it. Then maybe you can be someone’s “Wizard” and hand them some confidence through your encouragement. You will become the difference maker from your own experience. Start today and create an awesome life!Tweet