Staying Open to Opportunity

What do potato chips, popsicles, and chocolate chip cookies have in common...besides being addictive junk foods? Apparently they were all invented by mistake. I learned this recently from one of the speakers at my son's elementary school graduation.

Most of the speeches were actually quite good and inspiring, meant to both acknowledge how far the graduates have come while encouraging them to go further. But this speech stood out because of its message.

We have to be open to what life presents us, while also being flexible and patient. The inventor of the popsicle was an eleven-year-old who knew to wait until he was older and the timing (and product) were right. The other two inventors came up with their ideas by being flexible and were then open enough to recognize the potential they had stumbled upon.

Inspiration or happy mistakes are not limited to the young or the graduating. Nor do accomplishments or inspirations always have to be as large as inventing a new junk food. If we see a need or an injustice and do something about it, we are acting on an opportunity that presented itself.

And sometimes those opportunities are on the other side of trials, tribulations, and mistakes. Sometimes we have to survive some falls and hard-won lessons to recognize the opportunity for what it is. 

I don't wish the latter on my son and hope his path is easier than mine has been, but I need to believe—choose to believe—that I am a better person for the mistakes I've made and that I am now ready for that next opportunity.

Are you open to the unexpected?

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