“Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.”
– Audrey Hepburn
Did you know Australia is wider than the moon? The moon sits at 3,400 kilometers (2,113 miles) in diameter, while Australia’s diameter from east to west is almost 4,000 km (2,485 miles).
Success is sometimes linear.
When my wife, Micaila, decided to run a half-marathon, she trained for three months, race day arrived, and she accomplished her goal. It was wonderful!
But success can also be wonderful when it’s nonlinear — when it’s unexpected.
This has often been how I’ve experienced bouts of success in my own life. I’m trying to accomplish something and I’m working really hard at it… but then success approaches from the side, from somewhere I least expected.
The most recent example of this is the following story.
Some time ago I made a post on Facebook about The Tonic — I was excited because we’d finally, after two years of writing emails and building our audience, become profitable. This was a big milestone. And it was a little emotional.
So I shared the story on Facebook.
Someone (I can’t say names) saw that post who’s a very successful business owner and who’s launching several of his own newsletters. He reached out to me and asked if I could write for or manage those newsletters in some capacity.
This relationship has been a total game-changer for my freelance writing business and it’s allowed me to hire and work with some other amazing writers.
But this only happened because I spent the last two years doing something I care about… and working really hard at it.
Sometimes, success comes from a place we least expect it — and it’s our job to condition ourselves to be as prepared for these unexpected opportunities as possible.
Here are some ways you can prepare for (and even create) unexpected success…
Stay consistent and committed: Commitment to your goals, regardless of how difficult they may be, can lead to unexpected success. Your persistence and consistency make you more likely to recognize and seize opportunities that may arise unexpectedly.
Embrace flexibility: Success is often a winding path, not a straight line. Be open to change and embrace the unexpected. When you’re flexible in your approach, you become more receptive to opportunities that come your way.
Keep learning and developing your skills: The more skills you have and the more knowledge you acquire, the better equipped you’ll be when unexpected opportunities arise. Never stop learning, because you never know when a new skill or bit of knowledge might come in handy.
Network and communicate: The power of networking and communication cannot be overstated. Opportunities often come from the least expected sources, like the business owner who noticed your Facebook post. Keep sharing your journey, your milestones, your struggles and victories – you never know who’s watching and what opportunities might come from it.
Practice patience: Success, especially unexpected success, often requires patience. It takes time to build something worthwhile, and the rewards may not be immediate. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination.
Keep your eyes open: Always be on the lookout for potential opportunities. They might not always look like what you expected, but with an open mind and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you might just find something extraordinary.
5 Life-Changing Ideas
A few weeks ago we shared this awesome article with you, titled, 30 Ideas That Changed My Life.
It’s worth reading in full.
But if you don’t have the time, here are our favorite five excerpts from the article!
1. Seneca on Hope and Fear
Limiting one’s desires actually helps to cure one of fear. ‘Cease to hope … and you will cease to fear.’ … Widely different [as fear and hope] are, the two of them march in unison like a prisoner and the escort he is handcuffed to. Fear keeps pace with hope … both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future. Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present.
2. Albert Einstein on Widening Our Circles of Compassion
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
3. Dostoevsky on Not Lying to Ourselves
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
4. Dale Carnegie on Living One Day at a Time
You and I are standing this very second at the meeting place of two eternities: the vast past that has endured forever, and the future that is plunging on to the last syllable of recorded time. We can’t possibly live on either of those eternities – no, not even for one split second. But, by trying to do so, we can wreck both our bodies and our minds. So let’s be content to live the only time we can possibly live: from now until bedtime.
“Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. “Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.”
5. Marcus Aurelius on the Unnaturalness of Anger
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.
This Week’s Image
This Week’s Riddle
Here’s this week’s riddle. The answer is at the bottom of the email!
“I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have no body, but I come alive with the wind. What am I?”
This Week’s Journaling Prompt
Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt.
“Reflect on a time when success came to you in an unexpected way. What were you doing? How did this unexpected success impact your life and your perspective? In what ways can you prepare yourself to seize such unforeseen opportunities in the future?”
This Week’s Challenge
Make an effort to step outside of your comfort zone at least once a day. This could mean reaching out to a new contact, trying a new skill, or even taking on a task that scares you a little. Write down each experience and reflect on any unexpected opportunities or insights that arise from it. Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to achieve immediate success, but to open yourself up to the potential for unexpected victories.
Riddle Answer: An echo.