Mark called one afternoon, "Thom I have to talk to you when you have time." "How about right now, does that work for you?" I responded. "Sure, why not?" he stammered, caught off guard by my seeming availability. Now a little background: Mark is one of those people who think that if he is going to be successful, things around him need to change. The people at work need to change, the person he is dating needs to change, the world needs to change! Are you getting the idea? Again, in the brief time he and I had on the phone that day, he explained one more thing that needed to change for things to work for him. Now, I'm not saying that Mark needed to change, but he did need to adapt to the situations and opportunities that were coming his way.
Mark was like the sailor who said, "If the wind was coming from the right direction, I would make the mark." Having sailed for over 30 years, I quickly learned that effectively adjusting to the wind, (referred to as tacking,) was the secret to making the mark. Are you waiting for the wind to shift favorably in your direction or are you learning to take the best advantage of where the wind is coming from? Are you taking advantage of the opportunities that are already coming your way? If you want great opportunities to come your way, get really good at responding to the opportunities that are already coming your way rather than waiting for just the right opportunity. When the right opportunity does come after all your waiting, you won't be ready to take advantage of it.
Ask yourself: How can I do a better job with what I have in front of me? How can I dig in a little deeper? Can I learn something I do not know? How can I engage someone who would like to help? How can I get better if what's happening to me is not getting better?
My father often reminded me that he did not grow when things were good and the economy was growing. He learned the most and grew the most when things were not so good and the economy was not growing.