Rosicrucian Writings Online


Creating Opportunities

THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES ARE THOSE
WHICH YOU MAKE
 
By Frater Frank Wolton
 
[From The Rosicrucian Digest November 1930]
  
  
THESE are the days when everyone who finds himself in undesirable positions or without any position of merit seeks for opportunities to do something truly worthwhile.
 
What I am about to say does not apply exclusively to those who may have no real position at all, but to all who are not in such lines of effort as afford them the best opportunities to serve themselves and serve mankind.
 
The mystic and the efficiency expert, or the vocational expert, certainly agree in one thing. The mystic says that every living being has a more or less definite mission in life, and that each of us should find what that mission is some time during our life and devote some of our conscious hours, and God given powers to the fulfilment of that mission.
 
The vocational expert says that it is a fact that each one of us is qualified by talents, instincts, tendencies, abilities, and general characteristics of nature to perform some certain duties better than others. Both the mystic and the vocational expert also say that if you can find it possible to devote your natural abilities and personal characteristics to the one field of effort for which you are best qualified, you will not only be more happy and more contented and derive a better income in every sense, but you will do your work much better and serve humanity much better.
 
Following out the idea embodied in the foregoing statements, we notice that with those persons who have been successful, happy, and prosperous in life, that sooner or later, they find ways and means of devoting some of their spare time or the latter years of their lives to doing the very things for which they are best qualified and which gives them great happiness. For instance, a man may have devoted the better part of his life to the banking business and may have been successful in that, and finally retired with a sufficient income to live upon. But he does not remain in idleness or just sleep away the remainder of his life in day dreams, but devotes himself to doing those things for which he is qualified in some inner way, and which gives him great joy and which always results in benefit to humanity.
 
Thus we find that most of the humanitarian work, most of the civic improvement work, most of the educational foundations are established or maintained by men or women, who having attained some degree of success and prosperity in other lines of effort devote part of their time to such things as appeal to them, and for which they are inwardly qualified.
 
This goes to prove that all of us have within our inner nature some special qualifications, some strong tendencies, and abilities which make us uniquely or differently qualified to do things of a specific nature. The mystic has an explanation for this and the vocational expert has no explanation at all, for he is not concerned as to why some persons have artistic abilities, others musical abilities, others mechanical or literary abilities. He is only concerned with analyzing human beings and discovering what their best qualifications are, and helping them to find an opportunity in which to express these abilities.
 
Therefore, we see that the real work of the vocational expert is to help men and women to find the right opportunity in which to express the right group of abilities, talents, and tendencies. He thoroughly believes and proves by his work that a man or woman and even a young man or young girl, will more efficiently do these things which they like to do, and for which they have natural tendencies than they will do some things which they do not like to do, or for which they are not qualified. And, when you find joy in the things you are doing, and your work becomes an enthusiastic hobby with you, you not only work more efficiently but the results are better, the effort is less fatiguing, and the results for humanity in general are greater. Naturally, if there is any financial income resulting from such efforts, such income will be greater than from work not so well done and not so satisfactory.
 
Reducing the entire problem, then, to two simple points, we may say that a man or woman's success in the business world depends upon first analyzing one's self and discovering what it is that one can do better than anything else, or what one likes to do more than anything else; and, secondly, discovering the opportunity or position in the business world where these qualifications can be used. It seems like a simple problem, after all, does it not? I dare say, however, that the average reader of my statements will say that of the two points, the most difficult one is the latter. I have found this true in hundreds of cases where I have aided others. Invariably, the man or woman states that it is easy enough to know what one would like to do and what one is best qualified to do, but finding the opportunity to do it with an income attached to the work is the difficult problem, indeed. I venture to disagree with these statements and it is my purpose at this time to tell why I disagree and how to prove this to yourself.
 
I am going to show you briefly that instead of waiting for and trying to find the right opportunity for your special qualifications, you should create the opportunity and make it for yourself and then simply take hold of it and possess it. Far more difficult, however, than locating the opportunity for special abilities is discovering what your special abilities are. You may never have thought that you were a real puzzle unto yourself, and that you were a complex being difficult to analyze, but based upon the law of averages, you are probably just as difficult to analyze as anyone else, and it is more than likely that you do not understand your own qualifications, abilities, and tendencies nearly as well as many of your friends and acquaintances understand them. They have had an opportunity to watch you and observe you at a long distance, and know your strengths and your weaknesses, but it is like the famous advertisement in the popular magazine, "Even your best friend won't tell you."
 
Even if you have had no academic or trade training, you still have inherited or original tendencies and talents of your own. The young man that was born in a family of poverty with no more opportunity for schooling than the public school, and with no culture or refinement, no trade or business training, has at least some natural tendencies and abilities of his own, which can serve him efficiently. And, certainly every man and woman who has had some education and some contact with the world and its work has some special talents or abilities which are being sought for or which are absolutely necessary in some work or some scheme of things in this world. It has been proved by thousands of examples that there are just as many individuals, groups of individuals, firms, organizations, and institutions seeking for persons of special qualifications as there are persons of such qualifications seeking for such opportunities. They do not meet, however, because each one believes that the other is difficult to locate.
 
I cannot tell you how to proceed to analyze your own abilities. I can only suggest that you should take a list of the various trades, occupations, professions, and businesses, as they are listed in the business telephone directories or some similar list, and as you read each one of these occupations or lines of work, write down on a sheet of paper which of those you are qualified to work in, or serve with some knowledge or experience. This will give you a list of possibly twenty or more occupations, which represent those that you can serve in with some degree of ability or liking.
 
Then, on another sheet of paper, put down a list of those talents or abilities that you have found are yours, and which you seem to have inherited or derived from the Cosmic. In such a list would be the ability to draw with pen or pencil either faces, figures, caricatures, or mechanical illustrations such as diagrams, plans for homes, or outlines of machinery, etc., being sure to distinguish between ordinary pictorial art and mechanical art. Or, on this second list, you may place the desire to paint and distinguish between the desire of the liking for painting of buildings and walls, or the painting of small pictures with water colors or oils.
 
You may also list the liking for the handling of small tools and the making of small objects, either in wood or metal, or you may list the liking for music or for research work, or for systematizing office routine, or for electrical work in experimentation. Such a list may include five or six very definite talents or abilities of your inner nature.
 
Then on a third sheet, you should list those activities in life which you look upon as rendering the greatest service to humanity. If you think that public hospitals with free clinics and an ambulance constitute one of the greatest services to humanity, you should put that on the list. If you think that public libraries and reading rooms serve humanity more than anything else, you should put that on the list. If you think that the churches, private schools, public schools, night schools, night classes for adults, newspapers, radio, merchandising of department stores, the growing and selling of flowers, dentistry, or any one of a thousand other activities in this world are the best contributors to the happiness, uplift, and advancement of civilization, you should put these on your third list. You probably will not put more than two or three on this list.
 
On a fourth list, you should put down an answer to this question: If I had all the money that I needed and all the time at my disposal that I wanted, what would I enter into as a hobby in order to keep myself occupied and yet do some good for others? You probably will put one or two things on this list.
 
Then on a fifth sheet of paper, answer this question: In my past experience, what things have I done that were easiest to do because I seemed to understand well how to do them and, therefore, succeeded in doing them, and what things seemed repulsive, difficult, or unpleasant for me to do?
 
With these five lists before you, you should proceed to make a picture of yourself in words by combining the principal answers from each list. This would give you a fairly good picture of what things you can do best of all, what things you like to do, what things you have found you can do, and what things you would do if you had the opportunity. You may be surprised in studying your lists to find that some of these things are more related to each other than you suspected.
 
I remember one young man who had been working in a photographic studio for a number of years but did not succeed well because he did not seem to have the artistic ability for posing his subjects properly. Artistic composition was one of his weaknesses, but his fascination for photography was one of his strengths, and, in fact, he could work at it longer and better in its purely chemical and material form than at anything else. A position of purely mechanical work in a photographic studio, however, does not pay a good income.
 
He also discovered that he had a great liking for the manufacturing of little trinkets in the form of small articles of jewelry, but had never worked at this except in spare time at home with a limited amount of material. He seemed to have a deep-rooted liking for the manufacture of unique or unusual pieces of jewelry. Personally, I believe that the young man carried this over from a previous incarnation, for some of the pieces he showed to me looked like some of the hand-made jewelry of many centuries ago. But whether this was true or not had no bearing upon the analysis.
 
After reducing all of his talents, abilities, aptitudes, and likings to the very minimum point, we found that there were two that were the outstanding ones--the making of jewelry and photography. I was rather a young man myself at the time this analysis was made of my friend and I remember well how puzzled I was at the possibility of these two peculiar aptitudes being united into one business that would bring the young man a good income. It was easily determined that there was no opening or opportunity known in the business world for the combination of these two talents, and it looked as though the young man would have to hunt for some other combination. Under the guidance of the expert, however, the young man proceeded to create an opportunity for himself and for his peculiar combination of abilities. I feel sure now that this young man would have looked many years for such an opportunity, if he had not created it himself. This is where the value of creating opportunity comes in.
 
In trying to create some business or some form of business where jewelry and photography could be combined profitably and logically, he created in his mind all kinds of business plans and schemes. Finally, he hit upon the creation of a new kind of jewelry, which, in fact, was merely a modification of an ancient form. He recalled how the wearing of cameo had at one time been very popular. Therefore, he created the idea of small brooches or breast pins of a gold or silver frame and with a photographic portrait in the center. Thus he mentally created in his mind a business which later became known as the photograph jewelry business.
 
After having created it in his mind, he made by hand a few specimens, and with these specimens and some sketches of other forms of similar jewelry, he called upon various persons who might be interested in such a new business and in a few weeks capital, material, and cooperation came to him enthusiastically. One year from the time of his mental creation, this man had one of the largest novelty businesses in the city of New York and his jewelry was being sold in every part of the country, and he had a factory with sixty employees and a number of salesmen on the road.
 
This is only one example of creating an opportunity. Of course, while the business started as a personal one with the young man making the jewelry frames by hand and making the photographs by copying other pictures in his spare time, it soon grew to where he could do nothing more than originate new pieces of jewelry by drawing them with pencil and simply supervising the photographic work. Nevertheless, he was indulging in the two talents that he enjoyed and was at the same time making a very fine income.
 
The way to create your opportunity is to discover from your sheets of questions and answers what combination of talents and abilities you are best fitted for, then try to unite some of them into a new line of effort or a modification of some other line of effort. Visualize this combination as a new business and then having created it in your mind, set about to bring it into realization. Talk it over with those who may be interested. Go to those who may be in similar lines or related lines, and offer them your plan with the provision that you are employed to carry it out. Seek persons who will help you to materialize your creation instead of seeking a position with persons who have already materialized their own creation. In other words, create a niche in life for yourself into which you will fit nicely. Then proceed to get yourself into that niche. You may require the help of others, but it is far more simple and easy to secure help in fitting yourself into a new and original niche, than it is to seek help in adjusting yourself into the niche created by somebody else.
 
I regret that I cannot attempt to give individual advice to any of our brothers or sisters through correspondence, for I am so occupied that I cannot undertake this work for others. The fundamental principles are stated in this article of mine, and I am sure that hundreds can benefit by it, for I have seen hundreds of others in the past take these facts and apply them successfully in their own lives.
   

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