About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.
A State of Transition
During my last semester of college, I applied for more jobs then I could count. Some of them actually got back to me. I had my suit and tie ready to be interviewed.
One of them was a finance firm out in Scottsdale, Arizona. I had no intentions of moving out there unless it was the only job I could get, but I showed interest anyways because my rationale was that it couldn’t hurt. Besides, when they found out I was in Reno, Nevada they offered to fly me out there and pay for my Uber rides.
I’ve never been to Arizona before so they made an offer that was difficult to turn down. Besides, whenever I think of Arizona its the Grand Canyon that pops up. With a bit of digging I found out Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon had some distance separating them. But totally manageable. I’m not an experienced driver nor have I ever driven at night before, so I bought a round trip ticket from Phoenix (Scottsdale is near Phoenix) to Flagstaff, then a nights rest, followed by renting a car to drive up to the Grand Canyon.
The interviews in Scottsdale were grueling, 5 hours of interrogation before I made my way up to Flagstaff by Greyhound (bus) to stay for the night, then a short but scenic drive on Route 66 before heading north to the Grand Canyon as a day trip.
It was quite exhausting especially after doing some hiking down the Canyon when I had to drive back down to Flagstaff, walk a couple hours from the car rental place to the Greyhound station (taxis are expensive) take the Greyhound back down to Phoenix, stumble into the airport at 3 AM and fly from Phoenix to Vegas then back to Reno where I had accounting homework waiting for me.
It was totally worth it though to see this national treasure. All at the cost of a days rental car, a round trip bus ticket and a nights hotel (this was Veteran’s Day weekend where Grand Canyon admission is free). I had a company pay for lunch, Uber rides to/from the airports and round trip flight from Reno to Phoenix.
How To Get the Most Out of Life
I saw an opportunity and knew that if I wanted to see the Grand Canyon at a later date, it would require me going out of my way to make it out here, rather then just planning a side trip when I was 80% there already. Said another way,
To get the most out of whatever life throws at you, be willing to act. To stand idly by is to watch life and its opportunities pass you by, to be an observer instead of an active participant in life. There are risks with taking action, that is true. But the greatest risk of all is the regret that comes from standing still, frozen by fear as life slips away.
I was willing to milk an opportunity (all expense paid for trip to Arizona) and requested my return flight to be booked at a later date. All it takes is the willingness to seize the initiative and proper planning to capitalize on a opportunity.
Diamond in The Rough: Transitional Periods
These opportunities often present themselves during times of change because transitional periods is when monotonous routines are broken.
In business it is when an angle is opened up for a disruptive industry to make a place for itself (think of the advent of the internet plus mobile devices and how it opened an opportunity for Uber/Lyft).
In our personal lives, changes (college to workforce, switching jobs) may lead to a geographical change which opens up new opportunities to see new places and meet new people.
All you need is the presence of mind to grab the reins of life.
Here is the “On Opportunities” chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.