Missed Opportunities

Yesterday, as I was driving home from work, I saw something amusing. I was sitting at a stoplight waiting for it to turn green. The two left-turn lanes had green arrows and began to move forward. But a woman in one of these lanes must have been distracted by something, because she didn’t move forward. I looked closer and it appeared she was looking at her phone. There was no one behind her, so no one honked at her. I thought about honking, but didn’t because I was curious how long she would sit there. She had plenty of time to get through the light, if she would only look up and realize it was green, and all the other cars around her were moving forward or had already gone through. Finally, after the light turned red, she looked up and realized what had happened. But it was too late for her to make the light.

This incident got me thinking about missed opportunities. Missed opportunities are one of the nearly invisible stumbling blocks to Perfection as explained on the Performance Evolution Ladder. As we begin to rise above the failures and mistakes that result in serious problems (an accident, near-accident, being fired, etc.), being aware of opportunities and taking advantage of them can mean the difference between existing in a survival state and moving higher up the ladder to precision and perfection.

What kind of opportunities are we missing on a daily basis? From the opportunity to thank someone who helped you, to volunteering for a new assignment or task, or choosing salad instead of cheeseburgers, what opportunities are you passing up each and every day? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below.

For more information on the Performance Evolution Ladder, see Tony Kern’s book Flight Discipline, available from Amazon.com.

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