The opportunity cascade

We look at opportunities and feel many things. One common reaction is excitement with fear. The joy of feeling something new combined with the fear of the unknown.

To be able to make use of the opportunity we need to overcome the fear and embrace the excitement. One way to do that would be to look at an opportunity not as a single occurrence but a beginning. Kevin Kelly calls it an opportunity cascade. One door will open many doors, which will open many more doors.

As for overcoming the fear, we already know that there is a way.

It’s not just about wanting

The desire to want is not enough to make someone do what is needed to get it. This is to say: desire ≠ motivation (to do).

We tend to want a lot more than we can actually get. I feel the solution lies in deeply caring about what you want. If you care enough, you will do enough and make it happen.

You want to learn something, care about learning it. You want to achieve something, care about achieving it. You want to give something, care about giving it.

There are far too many distractions around us. If you don’t care, you won’t do. 

Do what works and not what’s satisfying

Most of us avoid doing what works, instead we rely on self-made plans which gives us pseudo-satisfaction of working. Looking at patterns of success, Cal Newport of Study Hacks concludes that 

It’s significantly more pleasant to pursue a goal with a plan entirely of our own construction, than to use a plan based on a systematic study of what actually works. The former allows us to pseudo-strive, experiencing the fulfillment of busyness and complex planning while avoiding any of the uncomfortable, deliberate, often harsh difficulties that populate plans of the latter type.

Gladwell’s recommended 10,000 hours will not make people remarkable unless they put in deliberate efforts to become better.