In the last post I asked readers and listeners to separate these letters:
How did you separate them?
Did you separate the letters to read: Opportunity is nowhere?
It is a despairing thought, indeed. It can be a saying for when you have thrown in the towel, and given up on optimism. Realizing that opportunity is no where can be a crushing defeat. No opportunities may mean different things to different people. One may seen an absence of opportunity in an abyss of joblessness or homelessness. On the other end of the spectrum, it can be a rich man who sees no opportunity for joy or love in life, or no opportunity for escape from the daily grind.
Opportunity is nowhere is a phrase that can define your thoughts and beliefs – and your life. It can force a working person into a miserable life, a life of too much working and too little living. The antithesis of my favorite quotes “Work a little, live a lot,” this statement can be among the most immovable objects in front of the delights of life.
I was nineteen when I first saw the letters opportunityisnowhere crammed together in a book titled World’s Most Powerful Money Manual. I must admit the first time I tried to decipher the text I saw nothing but shades of grey and black. High-school had just ended and I had no direction in my life. I had just finished a grueling summer job in a factory working, in excess of 60 hours a week, on an assembly line building cabinets in effort to help fund a University education that I didn’t want. With no idea of what my future held – opportunity to me was nowhere.
Growing up in a small town, I watched my parents work so hard day in day out, and felt that they were being unjustly compensated for all their efforts in the daily grind. Both were blue collar, hard working people.
My dad was a carpenter, up at dawn no matter if the temperature outside was 40 degrees below freezing or a sweltering 40 degrees above. He’d be out building and fixing people’s homes until the light of day had vanished into the sunset.
My mom was a nurse who also worked sun up until sun down. She would work different shifts throughout the day caring for the sick and helping doctors bring newborn babies safely into this world. Needless to say they tried to instill that same “hard” work ethic in me.
Well, I wanted to have nothing to do with work especially when it was followed by the word hard.
I can vividly remember my parents saying things like, “hard work is the key to success” and “all you have to do is work hard and you’ll get everything you want”. I was listening but not hearing them. I just thought there had to be more to the equation. There had to be more than just an endless stream hard work to grant happiness, and be truly fulfilled.
If I was to find the missing part of the formula I needed to start seeing things a little differently. I needed to question if what I saw, opportunity is nowhere, was really true.