January 16
Don't wait for extraordinary
opportunities.  Seize common
occasions and make them great.

Orison Swett Marden


Today's Meditation:

Nobody ever has invited me to ride a space shuttle.  I've never been offered the opportunity to lead a country or a huge business.  Heck, I've never even been out to sea on a nice yacht, and I haven't even traveled around the world in six months yet.  The opportunities for such things simply aren't there. 

On the other hand, I have encouraged lots and lots of young people, and I've been blessed enough to watch much of that encouragement have a strong effect.  I've had the opportunities to spend time writing books and plan classes and teach people how to write more effectively.  I've been able to go for long drives on amazingly colorful autumn days, and I've had the chance to sit down and have meals and long conversations with an incredibly diverse group of human beings, learning from them more than I ever can express.

I love common occasions.  They give me the chance to do something unexpected, to add something positive to the situation, be it encouragement, advice, or just a nice little unexpected gift.  Going to work can be mundane, or it can present us with a chance to do something special for others, or to do our jobs as well as we possibly can.  That new task may seem urbane, but what if you were to attempt to do it better than anyone else ever has done such a task? 

Waiting doesn't do a whole lot for us, except to make us miss other opportunities because we're waiting for a certain one or two.  Waiting is tedious, action is invigorating.  Perhaps the time isn't right to act in the areas in which we want to act, but there's always something going on that we can make very special simply by making the effort to make it so.

Questions to consider:

What opportunities are in your life now for making common occasions very special?

Why do so many people wait for great opportunities?   What effects does the waiting have on them? 

What does it mean to you to make a common occasion "great"?

For further thought:

Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there
more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.

Hugh Allen


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