It is said that someone once asked Alexander the Great, “Would you take the next city if you had the opportunity to do so?’ to which the Great Conqueror replied, “Opportunity? Why, I don’t wait for opportunities, I create opportunities.”
Alexander’s words tell us that we should not wait for a chance or an opportunity to do something. We should plunge into whatever needs to be done and create opportunities for ourselves. Everyone get opportunities at some time or the other, to do what he wants. Wise people grab the first opportunity to achieve their aim. But most successful people do not wait for a suitable opportunity- they create an opportunity for themselves.
John Bunyan, one of the world’s greatest writers, wrote Pilgrims’ Progress. This book is a masterpiece of English literature. Do you know where he was when he wrote this masterpiece? He was in prison. John Bunyan did not wait to get out of prison and to sit at a desk to write his book. He did not postpone his work because his jailers refused to give him paper to write on. Instead, he sat on the bare floor and wrote on twisted, wrinkled scraps of paper which had been used to cork bottles of milk at the prison.
John Bunyan creates an opportunity for himself by using the time available in the prison and the bits of wrinkled paper. He made full use of the opportunity and created a masterpiece.
Michael Faraday, the great scientist, was not able to get even a primary education because his family was poor and he had to go to work. He had to earn a living and even when he was a young boy, he delivered newspapers in the streets of London. Then, when he was thirteen years old, a book-binder employed him.
In the book-binding trade, Michael had access to a variety of manuscripts and books. He read as much as he could. He took this opportunity to improve his education and to gain as much knowledge as possible. During his free time he attended lectures on scientific subjects. Soon he left the book-binder and concentrated his efforts towards becoming a scientist.
Michael Faraday was one of those great men who did not wait for someone to help him. He helped himself. He did not wait for the right opportunity to come by. He made the opportunity to do what he wanted. Had Michael been like millions of other young men he could easily have made excuses for not studying. “I am poor,” he could have said, “I have to earn a living.’ Or he could have said, “I am too busy earning a living. I don’t have the time to study. I don’t get a chance to do anything other than my work of book-binding.” Others in his place would have said that there was no one to help and guide them. But Michael did not stop to make excuses for himself, nor did he wait for an opportunity. He created an opportunity for himself and he became a great scientist.
Opportunities are all around you. It is up to you to seize them. Even though an opportunity does not seem to be of the right kind, you should take whatever comes your way and make the best of it. If you do not go on waiting for an opportunity but do the work on hand to the best of your ability, you will be able to work wonders. Every job on hand is an opportunity to show what you are capable of achieving. Don’t lose that opportunity. Remember, your opportunity lies in your ability to make the best of the circumstances in which you find yourself. Your personality and your initiative are your best means to achieve success.