February 25, 2019 - Robert John Hadfield
The Right Opportunity
Realizing it's Not Coming
As I write this blog I am sitting on the balcony of a little hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the last year I have visited Thailand three times, but prior to that I had barely been out of the United States. Of course I had travelled to many places around the U.S., primarily for business, but I hadn’t taken the time to see much of the rest of the world. It’s not that I didn’t want to. To the contrary, I did. But I didn’t do much about it.
At several points in my life I worked with organizations that had a global foot print that allowed me to work with people around the world. I have worked with people in Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, India and Great Britain. In each situation I waited for opportunities to make trips to visit those countries. I sometimes passively tried to convince myself or the organization I was working with to send me to visit those offices around the world. But it never happened.
I have known and worked with many people who have become world travelers because their business interests allowed it or even demanded it. My own brother-in-law has been around the world numerous times on business.
But not me.
I was one of those people who would say, “that is so amazing, I wish I could do that.” But never did.
And then a couple of years ago I met someone who changed everything.
I was visiting with an interesting woman who had been in dozens of countries around the world. I learned that she leaves the Unites States to points around the planet several times a year. It had been part of her life for a couple of decades. The more we talked the more places I found out about. It sounded as if she had been almost everywhere.
I remember telling her that I thought all of the traveling she had done was amazing. I thought I was paying her a compliment. But I will never forget her response. It was a simple statement in an almost reprimanding in tone. To paraphrase, she simply said, “It’s not amazing. You just do it.”
I admit her response caught me off guard. It was so basic and so true. In my own little way I had become institutionalized in the notion that I needed an invitation or a purpose. I had convinced myself that somehow there was more to it than just going. But her admonition put that notion to rest. What was I waiting for? A nudge? Permission?
That simple discussion was a nudge itself. Within a few months I was in Thailand, Laos and China. A couple of months later I was in India and Nepal. I came to Southeast Asia again this last November. Tomorrow I will be in Bangkok for the first time, and later this week I will be in Cambodia.
I haven’t lived in a bubble. And truthfully, my life has been filled with adventure and amazing experiences. I have very few regrets. But still, waking up in your 40s and realizing I had been stuck in a mindset and didn’t realize it is rather jarring.
Last week I was talking to the check-out person at the local grocery store about my upcoming trip to Southeast Asia. I was reminded of my own admonition when she told me how amazing it sounded and how she wished she could do the same thing.
On this particular trip I brought my 18 year old son. I want him to see that the world is open to him. That there’s no reason to limit what he can do and where he can go. I don’t want him to feel like he has to wait for an invitation or a grand purpose to do something he wants to do.
How often do we sit and wait for the right opportunity? When was the last time some great adventure just fell into your lap? This principle actually plays into our little business at Audiomover. Most people in the United States have audio and video tapes that need to be archived. And it nags at them periodically. Almost all of them think, “someday I’m going to get these things archived digitally.” But they never do it.
I have personally heard this story hundreds of times. These people don’t really know what they are waiting for either. The people I speak with finally decide one day just to get it done. Sometimes it’s a powerful nudge like a death in the family, but sometimes they simply wake up and realize that the perfect opportunity isn’t going to throw itself at them. They stop waiting for an invitation, for some big purpose, or the perfect moment. They finally just gather their things and send them in.
In 2019 let the staff at Audiomover help you. Let us convert your old audio and video tapes into a permanent digital format. We can customize your project to meet your specific needs. Give us a call and let us help you make the perfect opportunity.