The Wake-Up: A Question That Can Change Your Life

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What’s the Opportunity?

I ask myself this question all the time. In moments of doubt it keeps me from going to a dark place, that fear place, the one where I’m thinking/feeling, “Oh my God, this sucks! What am I gonna do?? What if it doesn’t work? What if I can’t figure it out? What if it all falls apart??”

And more often than not I also stumble onto an answer to the question, because, the funny thing is, there is almost always an answer to “What’s the Opportunity?”

It’s usually easier to ask ourselves that question when everything’s stable. But when things suddenly shift or don’t go our way many of us make a mental/emotional beeline to resistance, stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. “Oh no, I didn’t get the job I wanted.” “Oh no, I didn’t get the loan I wanted, or the man or woman I wanted – life is so unfair.”

That’s just victim-thinking and for many of us it can spiral into a whole mess of “I’m not worthy” and “why don’t good things happen to me.” Well, they’re probably not going to happen to you if you always revert to playing the victim every time life doesn’t go your way.

What’s the Opportunity?

We squander opportunities all the time because we’re so consumed by fear and victim-thinking. Of course there are really traumatic things that happen like death, divorce, and health issues. But even then, there are so many instances where the events were hard for everyone at first, then they paved the way for some really significant personal development and healing. But only when the people involved were open to the opportunities.

So, when the shit hits the fan and things don’t turn out the way you want, acknowledge your disappointment, cry about it, grieve if necessary, but even in the worst of circumstances there is an opportunity for something good to come of it. You just have to be open. Only then will you see that maybe dropping your phone was an opportunity to unplug, or getting fired from your job was the nudge you needed to make a career change and get your ass back to the gym.

You can be your own coach by asking yourself this one question, “What’s the opportunity?”

(But beware, you might turn into one of those “glass half-full” people.)

John Kalinowski
John Kalinowski is a Redding native based in New York. He’s an NYU-Certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Expert, Columnist, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Art-Lover, and Truth-Teller. You can connect with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or visit his website at
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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Good advice.

  2. Avatar cheyenne says:

    When I wake up in the morning what’s the opportunity?  That I will wake up tomorrow morning.

  3. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    GREAT QUESTION!!! And in my life the answer frequently is: A GREAT SOTRY!!! Works for me. I’m always up for a great story!!

  4. Avatar Barbara Stone says:

    I LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing

  5. Steve Steve says:

    Another good way of thinking: What’s the silver lining?