Sometimes opportunity whispers softly in our ear, but we have to listen. Other times it’s a loud crash such as a disastrous, life-changing event, and we have to take action. Again, my question is, when opportunity knocks, do you open the door or complain about the noise? Do you recognize it? Do you take action and create it? Opportunity is not a passive, but an action verb that only you can exercise. Waiting for opportunity is like waiting for the sun to shine on a cloudy day.

Tired of waiting for the market to kick into high gear, I realized that I had to create my own opportunities independent of outside circumstances or the economic environment. I learned that opportunity is about choice. It is making a decision to bash on regardless!

Being inspired by two of my books and my grandchildren, I had an idea of how I could change the way the world thinks, one mind at a time. In the midst of total chaos and financial challenges, I Believe I Can Fly, the first in a series of children’s character-building programs, took flight in the fall of 2009. At the same time I released a book, What Most Builders Won’t Tell Women (or Men)101 Ways to Save Big Bucks on Your Next House. I had built several homes and had both good and bad builders. The last builder went bankrupt for the second time and had used my “draws” to cover the expenses for his spec houses. He dragged out the building of my personal residence over a period of nearly three years. I spent years and thousands more correcting his mistakes and negligence.

A couple of years ago the “aha” moment came when I realized I could recover my losses. By writing a book on building tips, I could help others learn from my mistakes. Now, we don’t have a contract yet, but we do intend to get an order from Home Depot and Lowes for a million books. Now, that would certainly offset my losses!

Opportunities stop only when we stop thinking … BIG. Since I also encountered serious losses from a stock broker, I am now working on another book, What Most Financial Advisors Won’t Tell Women (or Men). Again, the intention is not to put a bad mark on any profession but to prevent consumers from being snagged by those who don’t belong in any respectable profession in the first place. The momentum continues with a complete series including What Most Lawyers Won’t Tell Women (or Men), What Most Doctors Won’t Tell Women (or Men), and so forth. The point I am making is that we create our own opportunities with a positive mind state and belief system sustained by an undying determination and desire to dodge defeat. The choice is yours. Choice is a freedom that only you can relinquish, if you choose to do so. As J.L. Moreno, the father of psychodrama once proclaimed, “The greatest power in our being is that we choose our thoughts. I choose, therefore I am free.”

Frequently people have messed up potential opportunities because of not understanding how good decisions are made. For example, life coaches often recommend that you follow your bliss or find your passion. “Do what you love doing and the money will follow” has long been the mantra of many. However, the money may not follow when a logical procedure is not followed.

Capitalizing on opportunity requires a strategic plan, but also on the ability to execute positive action at the right time. The  Path to Self-Discovery, developed by T. Falcon Napier,  is a color-coded model that provides a sequence in making decisions that prevents regrets and assures results.

White (Snow) – Get the hard, cold facts.

Green( Grass) – Set goals for growth.

Black (Night) – Identify obstacles.

Yellow (Sun) – Solutions to the problem.

Red (Fire) – Connect with your passion and intuition to know how your choices feel.

Blue (Sky) – The CEO or overall seer of the process to making good decisions.

So many good ideas and opportunities are lost or not sustained because of not following this sequence. When you leap, the net may not always be there. Once you identify your passion, due diligence is essential to get the hard, cold facts.  Although you may be clear on your goals, without knowing the obstacles and possible problems, you could waste your life’s savings on a dream ? that ends up as  a nightmare. By identifying and then  removing the obstacles, solutions are clear and  thus your problems can be solved. Before moving forward, do a gut check on how your decision checks out with your heart. In other words, if it comes from your head, check it out with your heart before you take action, and if it comes from your heart, run it through your head for an objective check and balance to emotional choices. Following this sequence when making decisions will transform possibilities into true opportunities that promise to increase your ROI – Return On Intelligence, and also your joy.

Edie Raether, MS, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who promises to challenge the way you think, and change the way you do business. Her six books have been translated into numerous languages and include: Why Cats Don’t Bark, Winning!, Sex for the Soul, Forget Selling, What Most Builders Won’t Tell Women (or Men), and I Believe I Can Fly (a character building program for children). She has also co-authored ten anthologies, and is an expert resource for hundreds of publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, INC, and Reuters.

With thirty-five years of coaching experience in behavioral psychology and change, Edie has also been a college professor and talk show host with ABC.  She is a certified speaking professional. The CSP is the highest earned designation awarded by the National Speakers Association to fewer than 8 percent of its membership worldwide.

Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways To Improve Your Grades Faster