July 31, 2014

Opportunities Passing Me By

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

Morgan Freeman once said, “It appeared things were passing me by and I wondered why they were passing me by.” Freeman was speaking of his career as an actor and the parts he thought he should have been given but wasn’t. One can imagine thinking as he did, this was a missed opportunity. Seeing a once in a lifetime chance for a great part gone could be overwhelming and asking myself, would there be another?

One can also imagine having an intense self-examination of one’s career path or even career choice. Self-doubt, lack of confidence or even total abandonment of your path could result. It happens to us all at one time or another as we are finding our way or fine tuning your craft. So what do we do?   

Freeman continued onward and soon came to the realization about those missed opportunities and said, “Well they weren’t passing me by but were happening for me all along. Providence had said, no this job is not for you.” This is an eye opening and heartfelt statement we all could take to heart. When that opportunity appears to have passed us by it may simply be things happening for us but not the way we imagined it happening.

I always considered this to be similar to traveling down the interstate and an interesting exit comes up. The billboards tell of all the wonders available to us at this exit. The restaurants, rest stops, historical sites and entertainment opportunities all appear irresistible. Even more enticing are the passengers in your car find them enticing and encourage you to take the exit. You know this is not your exit. This exit will not get you to your destination. It will only delay your arrival at your determined site. What do you do?

I find many times I take the exit. I explore and then return to my original path. I am delayed temporarily but continue on. We all must explore to find our way but we must not let our exploration turn into 40 years of wandering in the desert.

The next time you feel you have a missed opportunity think of it as Freeman did. Providence may be saying this isn’t for you and continue on to your destination.


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