The title is of course a quote attributed to Louis Pasteur, to whom we owe, among other things, the process of pasteurization. A parallel to this quote can be found in pregnancy. A man may not notice the many pregnant women walking around the places he frequents, but let his own wife become pregnant and he starts to see pregnant women everywhere! Also, as the short video about the moonwalking bear spreading the message about safety for cyclists says, “It’s easy to miss what you’re not looking for.”
Are you eagerly waiting for that big break? That big opportunity? How long have you been waiting? Are you certain that opportunities haven’t actually come your way, but you just haven’t been able to spot them? Test yourself – describe what that big opportunity looks, sounds, feels and smells like. You don’t know? Then how would you spot it when it appears? Time to start visualizing, perhaps?
Then, perhaps you do know what that golden opportunity looks, sounds, feels and smells like. You can describe it in all its tantalizing glory. You know it has come around, disappeared, gone round the block and come again a few times. You just haven’t caught it yet, but wait, you’ll be ready for the next one!
As one of my old respected friends used to say, “Exercise. Not fantasize.” Yes, fortune does favour the prepared mind. The key word here is prepared. The motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be Prepared.” I wish they’d remained true to the spirit of it. They might not be in so much trouble today if they had. Preparation can be arduous. Long and never-ending. Dull, monotonous and repetitious. But preparation is absolutely necessary if you want to be always postured to seize the delectable cookies fortune tosses your way.
Don’t focus on opportunities. Focus on daily preparedness, daily robustness. Making your own business better every day. Serving your customers so they always look forward for more. Because when you do that, the search is over – luck was with you all the while.