When Opportunity Comes Knocking, Don’t Be “Occupied”

One of my favorite quotes is Thomas Edison’s, “The reason that so few people recognize opportunity is that it comes dressed in overalls and looks a lot like hard work.”

I believe this is true.

That said, sometimes opportunity does come knocking and we don’t want to answer the door.

What got me thinking about this?

For reasons passing rational understanding, I was thinking this week about what might happen if opportunity turned up at the bathroom door.

I realized if that were to happen, poor old opportunity would likely be met with one of (at least) 3 responses:

  • “What do you want?”
  • “Occupied….”
  • “Go away!”

More troubling still, what if opportunity got that response when it showed up at our front door?

Why might this happen? Perhaps because we are so stuck in our rut, comfortable with our discomfort, or attached to our unhappiness that we refuse to let it in.

Or we might open the door a crack but then we tell opportunity, “It’s nice to see you but your timing’s not great. Could you come back in a bit?”

More likely than not, opportunity will find another home.

So while I don’t recommend flinging open your bathroom door under 99.9% of conceivable circumstances, if you ask, “Who’s there?” and opportunity answers, I’d for sure take a peek.


For additional thoughts on opportunity – convenient and inconvenient—take a look at “Look for Angels Wearing Overalls.”