I was listening to a radio program and the Dj decided to play what he referred to as “Back in the Days” songs. In doing so, he decided to play the songs of one – time hitmakers and this brought nostalgic feelings. 

Wow! I was amazed by the number of people who like a flash of lightning, appeared on the scenes with so much prospect but disappeared without traces. I then asked myself “Why couldn’t all these people stay in the industry to date?”

They were not ready for stardom! As a result, instead of taking advantage of the popularity, it ended their careers. The truth, however, is that this doesn’t happen to only musicians but in almost every sphere of our lives. Some say opportunities come once in a lifetime. 

Others believe opportunities come several times in the life of an individual. Regardless of the number of times opportunities come, there’s a consensus on one thing: How prepared you are when these opportunities come our way?

Opportunity Doesn’t Wait

“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.”- Idowu Koyenikan

 I’ve seen people who inherited fortunes from their parents but are now beggars because they weren’t prepared enough to handle the challenge. Numerous are those who campaigned for parties and individuals for political positions but can’t be “fixed” because they don’t have what it takes to get them “fixed”. 

People have occupied positions and performed poorly because they were simply not prepared enough. As a result, some were even controlled by the positions instead of the opposite. 

Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity. Being Lucky Is Being prepared When Opportunity Knocks

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”

– Oprah Winfrey

In an interview with KSM on Sep 25, 2012, Abedi Pele disclosed how he unexpectedly rose to stardom in a football match, far away in Zaire. 

It was this game that qualified Ghana to play in the 1982 African Cup; with Ghana and Abedi Pele eventually emerging as gold winners. Football historians actually say Abedi won the game for Ghana when he was introduced from the bench. 

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Though this was Abedi’s first game for the Blackstars, it was a tough second leg qualifier game away in Mobutus’s Zaire; after they had drawn with the Blackstars in Accra during the first leg. Though the Blackstars had hopes of qualifying, there was a setback:

“……20 minutes into the game, our best player and inspirer, Adolf Armah, was injured and after waiting for some time, they (technical team) just threw me in. Whilst they were contemplating whether to take the risk with me or not, I was telling myself that this is an opportunity to cease” – Abedi Ayew Pele.

At the tender age of 16, Abedi Pele had his name written on the lips of Ghanaians. This happened not just by chance but because he made good use of the opportunity given him! 

Like Abedi Pele, many footballers who became stars proved their worth when they were introduced from the bench. On the other hand, there are some talents that disappeared when they were given numerous opportunities but consistently failed to utilize these changes.

Many top-notch presenters were one-time producers who learned on the job, and when the opportunities were given to them to host shows, they did it perfectly. 

Some of these business moguls you see were once sales guys who learned a lot of things from their bosses, and some are now employing and training those who are ready to learn from them. 

A lot of people we adore and celebrate today, prepared in secrecy and waited for an opportunity to present itself. When the opportunity eventually came…Boom! The rest is history.

Are You Ready to Cease The Opportunities Available?

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.”

-Alan Armstrong

The military trains to sharpen their skills for battle even though there may not be threats of any battle. They do so to be battle-ready anytime they are needed. As people who want to grow and develop ourselves, we have to live like these military men: always prepared to take the opportunities that come our way. 

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Unfortunately, a lot of us are caught unprepared when opportunities are presented to us.

“Send a copy of your CV NOW “ has gotten many people jobs. As a job seeker, you have missed a lot of job opportunities because anytime the same message was sent to you, you had to run to the internet Café or send messages to friends to send copies of CVs. 

How can you have a laptop and an expensive phone and not have a soft and hard copy of your CV? Is the laptop meant for movies only? Is the phone meant for taking pictures only?

There is literally a universe of opportunities

In this era that YouTube has the best lecturers in the world, do you attend classes there? People have learned sound engineering, digital marketing, web development, how to bake. etc. 

What have you learned there to make yourself a better person for the opportunities ahead? Is YouTube meant for watching soccer and fashion clips only?  

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.”

-Mandy Hale

Are you thinking about learning new skills wouldn’t be meaningful? Did you ever think sanitizer will become an essential commodity in the world? Since its rise to prominence, it is a fact that only those who can produce sanitizers are now enjoying the rise in its demand. 

Many companies and individuals have now turned their focus into the production of sanitizers, and are making a lot of money. Some companies wish they could do the same but because they did not make room for other opportunities, they can’t. 

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The face mask is equally one of the hottest commodities in the world now but like sanitizers, it is only those who prepared for the hidden opportunities that can benefit from the production of these masks; and all other “opportunities” coronavirus presents. 

Many of us are living in a utopian world, where success comes before hard work. Due to this, we just don’t want to work hard but want to enjoy all the good things that come with it. We have therefore blamed everyone for our woes but ourselves. 

Even when we have been told our weaknesses, instead of working on them, we rather say our potential helpers are giving excuses not to help us. 

Let us not forget that we can have all the academic qualifications and skills but without the right mentality and attitude, nobody will be willing to take a chance with us. So as we sharpen our skills and knowledge, we should work on our characters as well. 

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

-Abraham Lincoln

From the experiences of those who are successful, it is apparent you can succeed and sustain the success ONLY when you prepare very well for the opportunities ahead. It is even suggested that the energy and time we spend in preparation should be more. 

Conclusion

No matter how difficult it is to prepare and wait, the advantages that come with it can’t be overemphasized. Let us not forget that when you sweat enough during training, you spill less blood in battle. 

What are your goals in life? Do you have what it takes to take you there? Are you reading the right materials? Are you associating with the right people? How do you take criticisms? Which attitude of yours needs fixing? Should the opportunity come now, can you handle it? In short, how prepared are you for the opportunities ahead?

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