“Opportunity is often difficult to recognize; we usually expect it to beckon us with beepers and billboards.” ~William Arthur Ward

A person can really go through a lot of self-induced pain and misery when the realization sinks in that an opportunity had been presented before them, and they did not take advantage of it.

We end up having the urge to kick ourselves in the butt as hard as we can, but physiologically we know its not possible, and still we have the urge. Others go to such extremes as to find other ways to actually inflict some kind of physical pain to ourselves because we know that kicking our own butts would hurt, and yet we some how deserve to feel that pain.

A few years ago, I felt that desire to kick my own butt because of something of a missed opportunity. I had known a woman for about five years, not intimately or personally, but socially and I found her very attractive. But because I was aware of a large age difference between us, I did not seize the opportunity to get to know her intimately. Instead, I chose the path of the socially acceptable person, aka “the friend”. And then after a while, this woman began dating someone else. I was genuinely happy that she was happy, and it appeared as if the her relationship was blossoming. Eventually, she would pop out three children who were fathered by this man. And with each birth announcement, I was still filled with joy for her. But the one thing that was missing was that she was unmarried still.

I would see her again later on in life, and find that she did have this many children by him. I was with a few friends and all of us knew her, and we asked her if “wedding bells” was in the future.

Her answer would stun and shock us. Well, some of us.

She said that she had no idea whether or not they were going to be getting married any time in the future, but she was ready for it and all he had to do was ask.

All I could do was nod and feel the inside of my own chest begin to collapse as my heart sank.

One of my neighbors that I commonly socialize with on a daily basis, actually had it right all along. He once had told me, “Do you know why you see attractive women with really, really ugly guys? It’s because THEY are the ones who asked.”

I began to recall the conversation in my mind as if it just had happened. I couldn’t believe that he was right. I mean after all, this old man has a reputation of being dirty and perverted- so what the heck would he know, right??? Well, in this case he did know!! Even the sick and twisted make sense once in a while.

I lost the opportunity for something, or for nothing. But the bottom line is that because I did not ask, I lost. Plain and simple. I chose not to go for the hunt and ended up watching her make a family with someone else.

And it’s not that I think that the father of her children is ugly. I don’t know the guy that well to make that kind of a judgement. And even if I did, I’m really not the kind of guy that would do that in the first place. It is the fact that he DID ask, and therefore he was the one who was victorious.

Carpe Diem – It still means something that is so true today, even if it comes from a language that is basically dead. We must “seize the day” if we wish to become successful in any adventure in life. Whether it is for family, for work, or for love.

Even if you don’t speak or understand Latin, there are so many other phrases out there, that are coined to help us understand better and allows us the empowerment of what we need.

“You cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs!”… who remembers this one??

Had I gone to that woman and expressed an interest, who the heck knows what would have happened. Sure, there would have been a chance of rejection. But that’s just part of “breaking the eggs”. And honestly, nobody will ever know what could have happened if I just stayed strong and chomped down on the bullet.

Break the eggs! Life will get nowhere if you don’t even try. And let’s not forget what our parents and teachers and educators taught us when we were growing up in school: “You will never know, unless you ask.”

If you are met with rejection, then two things:

#1- You will then know and it will no longer be a mystery to you because you know you have tried.

#2- You now can deal with handling your rejection, instead of having to suffer the pain and anguish of the missed opportunity.

There’s so much to learn in life, and in this case I sure did learn the hard way. And honestly, I didn’t have to. I made excuses that she wouldn’t be interested and so I balked from the chance to further pursue anything.

Don’t let life’s chances pass you by. Yes, I know that it is very difficult to understand just when an opportunity has come before you, or a chance for you take is presenting itself. But whatever it is– take it!!! (And yet I would caution to be smart about it too. Make sure it is what you truly want, then go for it.)

Don’t worry yourself about consequences as they will certainly come later. And so why worry about something that isn’t even there yet? Cross that bridge once you come to it, if the bridge is even there at all.

You have truly nobody to blame but yourself if you miss out on life’s wonderful opportunities. And yes, you’ll want to find a way to physically kick your own butt. But you won’t find it. Instead, take the chance of falling on your face rather than burying it in the sands of disappointment.

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