“Chance favors the prepared mind.”
Louis Pasteur

How to Prepare Yourself for Future Opportunities

Do you agree with the quote above? I definitely do. Instead of believing in pure luck, I believe that luck is what happens when opportunities come to those who are prepared for them.

To increase your “luck factor”, there are two things you should do:

  1. Prepare yourself for opportunities so that you can take advantage of them when they come.
  2. Put yourself in a position that makes it easier for opportunities to come.

While both of them are important, I think the first one is more important. Why? Because what makes the difference is whether or not you can take advantage of the opportunities. What’s the use of getting a lot of opportunities if you can’t take advantage of them?

So, because the first point is more important, I will focus on it here.

Preparation Takes Time

There is one important characteristic of preparation that you must understand: it takes time. You can’t prepare for something big overnight. In fact, bigger opportunities require bigger preparation. Just think about the level of preparation it takes to go to the Olympics. Those who want to go to the Olympics must prepare themselves for years, often from an early age.

That’s why it’s important that you prepare for future opportunities. Don’t wait until they come before you start preparing for them. It would have been too late by then. Prepare yourself early and you will be ready by the time they come.

Three Ways to Prepare Yourself

Here are three ways to prepare yourself for future opportunities:

1. Be curious

Curiosity makes you eager to know more about the world out there. If you are curious, you won’t be satisfied with what you already know. You will want to know more. As a result, you will see more potential opportunities.

It’s like being in a building with windows. The more windows the building has, the more you can see what’s out there.

2. Educate yourself

When you find something interesting, start educating yourself about it. Don’t worry if you can’t do anything about it right now. Remember, you are preparing for the future.

In my case, there are a few things I’m interested in which I still can’t work on at the moment. So what I do is I educate myself about them.

For example, I have a dream that someday I might have a game studio. As I wrote in Eight Random Things About Me, I often wrote simple games when I learned computer programming. Who knows, perhaps I could have my own game studio someday. While that might still be years away, I start educating myself about it so that I would be ready when the opportunity came.

So educate yourself in whatever it is that you find interesting. Read blogs, subscribe to magazines, watch videos, read books. Build a “prepared mind” that luck favors.

3. Build an “opportunity fund”

Warren Buffet makes sure that Berkshire Hathaway has at least $10 billion in cash in reserves. Why? So that when the opportunity comes for an attractive deal, Berkshire can immediately act on it. If they didn’t have the money, the opportunity could be gone forever.

Similarly, you should prepare an “opportunity fund.” Prepare certain amount of money that you can use to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Don’t let opportunities slip by just because you don’t have the cash to act on it.

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So that’s how you prepare yourself for future opportunities. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Prepare yourself early and years from now people will be amazed at how “lucky” you are.

Photo by Nicholas_T

Categories: Learning, Working

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25 Responses so far.

  1. Sean says:

    Also would like to add “courage” in the list as many of the opportunities presented to us will take a lot of courage to act upon, especially if they’re testing your comfort zone!

    If any opportunity arises which requires courage to act upon, know that if you follow through you will be rewarded greatly!

    Excellent article, thank you. :)

  2. Reni says:

    Great article :) This reminds me of that classic quote “The harder you work, the luckier you get”. Very true!

  3. Anna says:

    Loved this article! I have your blog bookmarked and visit it often for inspiration. :)

  4. Rich Avery says:

    I really like your idea of the opportunity fund. It makes it easier to take action on new ideas.

  5. Fred Tracy says:

    Hey there.

    Great article here. My favorite point is #2, educate yourself. I think educating ourselves on not only prepare us for future opportunities and “luck” but will also influence us to find new things and lead to new curiosities.

    Great article. :-)

  6. Shawna says:

    Love the idea of an opportunity fund. Even the most opportunity minded people who know to prepare their mental capital don’t necessarily think to prepare real capital.

    I think the same concept could apply to time as well. Ambitious people tend to take on a lot of projects at a time. They’re constantly busy. But if they don’t keep an opportunity fund of time, they likewise won’t be able to jump on a new opportunity.

    • Shawna, I really like your idea of an opportunity fund of time. That’s right. Even if the opportunity comes, you won’t be able to capitalize on it if you are already too busy with other things. We need to have margin in our lives.

  7. Matt Tanguay says:

    Hey Nicolas,

    I could make the analogy to getting the girl of your dreams. When you meet her, if you’re not ready, she’ll pass right by you and not look back. You need to be prepared to attract that kind of girl.

    For the second point about putting yourself in the right position to attract opportunities, I believe it’s crucial to put yourself in the right environments, and surround yourself with the right people. And by going on your journey, you will attract those opportunities.

    Great post!

    Matt

  8. Alex says:

    This is a great blog and one of very few RSS reeds I always read. I think I tick the first two boxes but now just need a big war chest to capitalise on opportunity!

  9. Donald,

    I can totally relate to point 3. It is a also a discipline that requires long term thinking. Whenever I am thinking about how to invest my funds I always think 10-20 years from now. When people can build the discipline to think long term, they will make good decisions with their finances..

    Thanks for the post..

    Cheers,
    Nabil

  10. Claire says:

    Thank you for this post. I am a big believer in taking responsibility for outcomes in life. I read something recently about having criteria for opportunities so when they come along you can be quick to decide to seize that opportunity. The premise behind this was that successful people are quick to make up their minds when an opportunity arises. If you don’t know what you want, by the time you make a decision, the opportunity is gone. This also means that you don’t waste time on stuff that is unresourceful.

  11. shankar says:

    To do such prapare our heart n mind should be healthy.

  12. Excellent post, caused me to ponder my own tactics with the process of creation. Thank you.

  13. noga says:

    Great article here.
    thanks

  14. Daniel says:

    I would say that the Opportunity Fund should be #1…

    I’ve been swamped by school loans and debt since graduating from college 12-years ago. I’ve spent months eating nothing but 1-2 cups of oatmeal a day because that’s all I could afford. I’ve even lived in my car for 6-months because I couldn’t afford housing. Unfortunately, I’ve had to let many opportunities slip by because I couldn’t afford to take them.

    Looking forward to the day that I can start building an Opportunity Fund so I’m ready when an opportunity presents itself… Until then, trying to keep the goals in view…

  15. Rajat says:

    Excellent article, learned so many things. Thanks for sharing with us.

  16. vaibhav p . pawar says:

    i’m fully satisfied with your article

  17. Al Edmondson says:

    Just browsing the web and came across you article. It is very basic and possible to do if you are hungry for it.LOVE IT!!!I will share this with youth groups.