The opportunity you have IS the opportunity, stop waiting for the right opportunity to come along.

Every day I listen to people who just need a final piece of the puzzle to drop before they can kick on. People waiting for the ducks to be put in order before they can push on with their master plan. And note well, waiting for the ducks to be put in order, not even neccessarily waiting to put their own ducks in order. The bemoan the quirks of fate, happenstance and coincidence that stand in their way. Or worse, the consipiracies and collusions of others that hold them back.

In other words, they list the things that prevent them fulfilling their potential, be it at work or even in their personal lives. The uncontrolable, unknowable forces of fate or destiny that are dictating their success or otherwise in whatever endeavour they have undertaken. All the while not realising, that by actually focussing on these negatives in this way, they give them a life and solidity they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Thats right, by thinking on these things and considering them and lamenting them, you are in fact creating for them a life way beyond their actual capacity to do you any harm.

But I’m not some postivie thinking junky. I don’t believe that simply fixing on a dazzling smile, or forcing that frown up side down are sufficiently sophisticated strategies to succeed – Though I note lots of successful people are naturally positive. Rather, as I have spoken about before, I think you need to be pro active, not postive. I think you need to take responsibilty for yourself, for yourself and the actions you take.

You can’t have responsibilty for what happens to you – but you can control how you respond. Lying low and licking your wounds after a tough time is perfectly understandable, natural and sensible. But at some point you need to get back up and fight another round.

But thats not the point here. For me this is about risk management. The risk that you will simply put, run out of time before doing what you want to do.

How much time do you think you have? Another 50 years? 40? 30? Don’t count on it. Literally don’t count on it. Every day I see life changing stuff happen to people all around me. Just this week, friends of mine have found themselves hospitalised in potentially life changing situations. I know they didnt see those events coming. Seven years ago my beautiful little boys were born, one of whom we’ve since discovered suffers from High Functioning Autism. Let me tell you – something like that happens to you, and EVERYTHING changes. In an instant.

No warning, no preperation, nothing. Something happens and your world changes. Thats it. Chance gone.

Chance gone, unless that is, you’re not waiting for the chance to come along. Unless your the type of person that just takes the chance thats there.

And your newly changed world? Your newly upside down and back to front world? Thats has opportunities too. Sure they are different than they were, maybe harder to see, because they are different – but no better or worse that what went before. I am happier today than I’ve ever been, and while I have completely redrawn my expectations, and especially my fanciful ambitions for my kids, life is GREAT. Because I absolutely refuse to allow it to be anything other than great.

One thing, those moments, those pivotal times in your life when things change, when things hurt? You have to allow yourself some space, some time to wallow, time to heal – its only fair.

But you’ve GOT to take that opportunity. JUMP IN – both feet. Stop waiting. Ask yourself – Can you afford the risk?

Do it. Do it now.

Go on.


  1. Lianne Dupré
    Lianne Dupré says:

    I love this post Tony. It is so very true! Over the last 5 years I have faced more than most people face across a lifetime. There have been plenty of times when I could have just curled up and wonder why me, but instead I have truly looked for the positive out of every situation and seized opportunities as they have arisen. My mum bought me an ornament that says ‘When it rains look for rainbows and when its dark looks for stars’. Every situation can bring so much opportunity if we can just keep our minds open to them.

  2. Lynda Swindells
    Lynda Swindells says:

    This is a great post Tony. I am truly guilty of ‘waiting’. I am always waiting for things to be just ‘right’ before I take a final leap, but this has just given me a kick to think ‘what if things never come ‘right’ and I miss an opportunity’? Very inspirational, thank you.

    • Tony Dowling
      Tony Dowling says:

      Thank you Linda, and nice to have you back in the comments section! It really is that important, ‘waiting’ will do you in. And why wait anyway! Jump in!

  3. Gareth Rees Jones
    Gareth Rees Jones says:

    Best one yet Dr Dowling and for someone who is just about to jump in to the unkown, very relevant and poingant. The world’s my lobster!!

    • Tony Dowling
      Tony Dowling says:

      Thanks Gareth! You’re doing exactly the right thing at the right time, all the best – And anyone looking for a marketing and sponsorship expert should look Gareth up – he’s one of the best there is

  4. David Lee
    David Lee says:

    Tremendous article Tony : guilty as charged on many issues you raise over the years I fully endorse cherishing today and living life positively and fully – life’s experiences and parenthood do steer you to do that and the sooner that train of thought is embraced the better
    Time to make and take those opportunities. Have a great weekend

  5. Charley
    Charley says:


    I hate hearing people whinge about circumstances that are- to some degree at least- within their control. I catch myself doing it now and again, but always at least attempt to assess what I could be doing to change things.

    Loveloveloved it 🙂

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