A successful businessman was invited to address a group of young executives on the subject of opportunities. He began his talk by tacking to the wall a big sheet of white paper and placing a black dot in the middle of the sheet. “What do you see?” he asked, pointing to the paper on the wall. “A black spot,” called out everyone in the audience. “Yes, I see a black dot too,” replied the speaker, “but none of you saw the much greater expanse of white. This is the point of my talk on opportunities.”
Source: Ralph Woods, Wellsprings of Wisdom
C. R. Gibson Co; 1st edition (January 1, 1969)
While it is so easy to focus on the “black dots” – the immediate tasks that face us each day – how often do you grasp the opportunities that no one else notices in the white space?
You might be tempted to say that you don’t have the time to notice the white space. Do you ever find yourself daydreaming? When you do, you’re visiting the big white canvas of possibility. The question is: Do you recognize your ability to bring those daydreams to fruition?
Try making a list of the urgent longings of your heart, your dreams, your desires. Write them down. When you finish, place an asterisk next to the five you would most like to accomplish or experience.
Finally, make those five items the “black dots” upon which you will focus your attention until completed. Once identified, it becomes much easier to concentrate your attention on them. Opportunity knocks!