What is opportunity, and when does it knock? It never knocks. You can wait a whole lifetime, listening, hoping, and you will hear no knocking. None at all. You are opportunity, and you must knock on the door leading to your destiny. You prepare yourself to recognize opportunity, to pursue and seize opportunity as you develop the strength of your personality, and build a self-image with which you are able to live -- with your self-respect alive and growing.
Opportunities, many times, are so small that we glimpse them not and yet they are often the seeds of great enterprises. Opportunities are also everywhere and so you must always let your hook be hanging. When you least expect it, a great fish will swim by.
The lack of opportunity is ever the excuse of a weak, vacillating mind. Opportunities! Every life is full of them. Every newspaper article is an opportunity. Every client is an opportunity. Every sermon is an opportunity. Every business transaction is an opportunity -- an opportunity to be polite -- an opportunity to be manly -- an opportunity to be honest -- an opportunity to make friends.
Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.
Subtract from the great man all that he owes to opportunity, all that he owes to chance, and all that he gained by the wisdom of his friends and the folly of his enemies, and the giant will often be seen to be a pygmy.
If you want to succeed in the world you must make your own opportunities as you go on. The man who waits for some seventh wave to toss him on dry land will find that the seventh wave is a long time a-coming. You can commit no greater folly than to sit by the road side until someone comes along and invites you to ride with him to wealth or influence.
You can't always wait for the guys at the top. Every manager at every level in the organization has an opportunity, big or small, to do something. Every manager's got some sphere of autonomy. Don't pass the buck up the line.
Opportunities are everywhere. The recession might be drawing to a close, but its continuing legacy is employers' reliance on short-term staff. There may be fewer jobs for life, but there are more jobs in a lifetime.