Barinov Design
Visual Identity Design // Paris, France

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DECLINE THESE OPPORTUNITIES AT YOUR OWN RISK

Alriiight, how's everybody doing?

Let's do a quick experiment here. I'll ask a simple question and you say yes if you agree or no if you disagree. Sound good? Everybody ready?  Alright, here goes:

DO YOU THINK THAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE IMPORTANT?

YES! Yes! Yeah! YEAH! Hell yeah! Yess!
Yeah! YES. Yep. Sure are! Yes! Yees!

Well that was loud and clear! I guess we all agree that opportunities are important. Anyone here expect a different answer? Me neither. We all know that opportunities represent something big: 

"I'm telling you, you do not wanna miss this opportunity."
"He blew his only opportunity."
"You should totally do it. It's such a great opportunity!"

The hype is real. Opportunities are the shit, and we all know it. 

SO THEN WHY DON'T WE DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM?!

Opportunities come, we kind of let them sit still until they evaporate, and then we wait for new ones! Then these new opportunities come, we watch them drift by, and once they too are gone we complain that there aren't any opportunities! Well that doesn't make any sense. Why in the world do we do that?!

It's actually quite simple. We have developed illusions and unrealistic expectations about opportunities. Somehow we have learned to believe that they are omnipotent and can materialize on their own. They cannot. Opportunities are half-baked things. They are just invitations. And what good is an invitation that you don't accept? It's useless! This sounds obvious in the context of invitations, but opportunities are no different. They are just calls to action. No action -- no results. 

It's easy to fall into this trap. Opportunities do suggest results, but they are not results. You arrive at the results via action inspired by these opportunities. We like to skip that important action step, though, and instead draw a direct line from opportunities to results and then when we do not see any results we conclude that it is because there are no opportunities. And so we enter the perpetual and depressing cycle of stagnation and frustration, always waiting for our next big opportunity.

But what about that entrepreneur that you met at your friend's party? He told you to get in touch and gave you his email address but then you went home, a week passed, and you never wrote him a line. Or remember that job posting that you bookmarked but never followed up on? Or how about that one time when you declined a road trip because you were “busy with something else”?

So tell me -- no opportunities? Or illusions?

Illusions! And you know what these illusions and your passivity are costing you? Everything!

What would your life be like had you accepted the invitations of your opportunities? If you had the courage to make a step forward, or take a little bit of risk? What kind of house would you be living in now? What kind of body would you have? What kind of career would you be enjoying?

This is why it is so very important that we change our perspective and eradicate those illusions. We cannot afford the risk of being careless with our opportunities because every single one of them has only a short lifetime and a definite expiration date. 

How you see opportunities and, more importantly, how you act on them will determine your life. I suggest that you make it a habit to recognize and acknowledge the plentiful chances around you. The more you do this, the more you will realize how many you have and how many you miss. By picking the opportunities that align with your goals and then acting on them you can confidently steer your life in the right direction. 

Have a good day everybody.