“Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.” — Jonathan Safran Foer
How do you deal with lost opportunities?
Missed chances and lost opportunities can be painful. What makes them painful is chasing after them.
Don’t Chase Lost Opportunities
One of my mentors shared a lesson with me from the book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.
His lesson was this:
If you miss the train, don’t chase it. Catch the next one.
Missing a Train is Only Painful if You Chase It
Missing a train is only painful if you run after it.
Don’t chase the train or the lost opportunity. Let it go, and get ready for your next chance.
It’s such a simple point, but it’s a sticky idea.
Instead of dwelling on what you missed, prepare for your future opportunities. Or, in the words of Bruce Lee, “‘To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
It’s better to do a reset and get a fresh start. Don’t wear yourself down or beat yourself up.
Simply take a step back, and get prepared to catch the next train.
Are You Chasing a Lost Opportunity or Getting Ready for Your Next Chance?
I do a self-check now and ask whether I’m chasing after a train or getting ready for the next one.
The key here is to get ready for your next chance, rather than beat yourself up over missed opportunity. Cut your losses and move on.
I think there is a related lesson:
Don’t keep missing the same trains.
Set up your own train stations for results. For example, I set up a rhythm of daily, weekly, and monthly results.
When I lose the day, I make the most of the next one. When my week doesn’t go as planned, I make the most of the next, and so on.
Learn from the past, create opportunities, and believe in your future.