Building A Mindset For Opportunity

Rowan Blair Colver
6 min readSep 28, 2020


Lucid Leadership by Rowan B Colver

The world is full of opportunity. The thing is, most of us can’t see them all. We are taught to be obedient and quiet, we are taught to always do what the manager says. This is where we begin to stop seeing opportunity. Like spoon-fed babies, we become strapped into a chair and put into the system. Opportunity mindset means having the imagination and confidence to see how the present moment holds the pathway to furtherment.

Why do we need a mindset for opportunity?

The hand to mouth lifestyles offered to us by various institutions are suitable for a lot of people, exchanging our time in return for social safety is usually a good offer. Not everyone is suitable for this though, people with leading personalities and people with strong emotional sensitivity can find this kind of lifestyle toxic. The workplace can contain many mental health triggers, people with anxiety report that using the telephone and dealing with problematic colleagues is highly stressful. People with anxiety and depression are often made worse by authoritarian managers who talk down to them or challenge their integrity.

There might just be no good jobs available. With high unemployment and jobseekers without morals who will lie in interviews, desperate jobseekers who will try to make you look or feel bad about being there and unhelpful friends who tell you that you are not good enough, the situation can quickly turn against you. Opportunity mindsets can sift through the pettiness to find a way that satisfies you and your peers. There is no magic formula, seeing available opportunities is a matter of having the correct thinking tools.

What must I do to take control of my own path?

Taking the unbeaten path is not an easy option, it doesn’t make life easier. It can, though, create a method of living that negates the things that make us unhappy or, for some, unwell. To be able to make the most of opportunities we have to be strong people, creative and hardy. It can seem as if the entire world wants you to fail sometimes. If a person can’t imagine a thing, they may claim that it doesn’t or cannot exist. So many people are stuck in their own worldview to the point where nothing that adds to or changes it can get in. This is the opposite of an opportunity mindset. Don’t let negativity be your guide.

We have to stay positive. Thinking about only problems will prevent us from seeing the right way to go. We soon settle for what we don’t like. Staying positive doesn’t mean ignoring failures or pretending things are going well. We can be sitting on the curb with a plastic bag for our possessions and still be positive. We can know that our minds and hands can put things to right. Time matters, we can’t fix everything all at once but we can be confident in our ability to fix things in due course.

To be able to make the most of opportunity, we have to think for ourselves. If we wait for instruction then we only do what someone else wants us to do. When we stop acting for ourselves we become a tool for another person to find happiness. If they’re the kind of person you can agree with and work alongside then teamwork can be useful. In fact, teamwork is essential. The key is to always be in charge of your own direction. No one can do everything on their own, we have to find a way to benefit everyone including ourselves.

We have to be able to know ourselves well. By being aware of our stress points, emotional triggers, talents, and strengths, by understanding our tools, we know what they can achieve. We are our own tool, our mind and our body are both useful objects that we can use to benefit us. If your hammer kept hitting your hand you would adapt your stroke to not do it anymore. Our minds are like this, if we use our mind against us then it only hurts. Our self-talk can be like the heavy blows of a hammer on our fingers or the heavy blows of our hammer on the nail. Our mind is our problem-solver and our storyteller. Turn our problems into stories and make them end well.

We have to stop procrastinating. Thinking and dwelling on things are not the same as planning. A plan feels like chomping at the bit, we stamp and snort and want to get out there and do it. Procrastination is just the dream, the feeling of it in our imagination. We could sit there all day and get nowhere. Your attitude needs to be direct and positive. A bad attitude will make the world look oppressive and unfair. A positive attitude accepts that the world is how it is and can see that people are willing to help as long as they get something in return. By valuing our ability to exchange time and talent, we can find ourselves with a lot of power in the world.

Understand what other people want

People all want to get the best out of their life and work. Problems, crises, disruptions, and negative circumstances are all opportunities. We have to be able to understand what it is that is paining people at the time and be able to offer genuine solutions. What do people need at this time? How can you provide it? How will you provide it in a way that people will choose? What is in it for you? How will solving their problem help you solve yours? What do you need?

Always learn more

You might need a mentor. Inner confidence and elimination of self-doubt aren’t easy to achieve. Sometimes we need a really good friend or family member to see our value and worth and help us to see it as well. It might take a lot of inner work to revisit all the issues that arise from under-confidence, past traumas, biasses, and all other negative effects within our personality. If we find ourselves struggling to find strength, then this can be a pain point for us. Find a solution to your problem.

You are the product

Marketing yourself well is why confidence is important. We have to be able to sell ourselves as a product, our mind and our energy is the thing that can solve the problems people have. Learning how to advertise, sell, promote, and build trust are key skills that we all need. When you are in an interview or on a date, we do our best to impress. If we have no confidence or a poor self-image then what we consider our best will not match the expected ideal. If no one’s tried to help you improve these things then you need to do it for yourself.

You need to be able to interact with other people who are also working to find opportunities. Business leaders, teachers, positive friends, and everyone who sees your worth are those to be attracted to. By being around the people who behave in the way we need to, we learn good habits, useful information and see through the myths to get to the reality of our situation. The positive attitude of other people, the confidence they show, and their strength can all influence our own personality. These people are the ones who mark the way, we have to follow in the footsteps of those who inspire us and make us look beyond the obvious.

When we are working hard to instil an opportunity mindset, the results will happen gradually over time. Depending on your upbringing and experiences, there might be a lot of work to do to undo a lot of damage done by those who don’t understand or care. We may have been led to believe that we can’t do what other people do or that we are not good enough. Prejudice like this is unfortunately everywhere and if we’re not told to ignore it, we might have actually listened. Be prepared to go your own way regardless of how many rotten tomatoes are thrown at you. Those who are inspired by you will see your strength and like you even more.

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Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome.