Opportunities in life are a function of action, time and random chance. All we can do about the random chance part is be present and try to take action when opportunities arise. To increase our opportunities we must take action and give things time to work out. It is like opportunities are a function of probability and time. Think about it, if we lived forever we could then do almost everything if we chose to. Make a movie, travel the world, write a novel, go to space, etc. Just save your resources for 100 years and then do whatever you want. This is why older folks than us can seem so much more accomplished. They have had decades more to invest, travel, raise a family, build a career, etc.
Here are some ways that you can increase opportunities as time goes on:
ONE: Do Not Burn Bridges
This is not always easy, but one key aspect is within your control. How we conduct ourselves and treat others is within our control. We may not get along with everyone or see eye to eye, but communicating with respect and choosing non harmful actions seems to pay off over time. You may need to hop around to different jobs to explore options, seek a promotion, make more money etc. But give your current employer some respect even if they do not deserve it. Be professional, give proper notice, go out on a positive note. You can be mad and throw a pity party on your own time. The professional world can actually be quite small in certain fields, so choose the right actions.
TWO: Manage Present Moment Bias
We are animals wired to survive in the moment. This can make long term planning and preparation difficult. Personal finance psychologists say we tend to discount the future. The point here is to value taking care of your future self as much as you value your current needs.
THREE: Develop Strong Habits and Skills
We simply become our habits. If we are preparing and putting ourselves out there as a habit, then typically more opportunities come our way. If we are sitting in our basement playing video games, probably less so. If we are taking small steps to improve our health and finances, these actions will expand our opportunities as time goes on.
FOUR: Do Some Trial Runs
In life we rarely succeed the first time around. I recently spoke with a friend who wanted a new job and new opportunities. She started updating the resume and applying. The first few interviews and opportunities did not work out, but she was able to really polish her interview skills and resume during the process. She eventually landed a new gig she likes.
What are some other practices and mindsets we can use to expand opportunities?