Friday, March 6, 2009

This Opportunity Called Life

I had the honor of being interviewed by The Innocence Project this week. I financially support this organization and they periodically feature donors in their newsletter. This non-profit works to free wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing. Many of the people proven innocent and released from prison spent over 15 years serving time for a crime they didn’t commit.

Having no personal experience with this type of situation, the interviewer asked why I’m passionate about supporting the work that they do. I’d like to share with you what I shared with him.

My mission and purpose through my coaching practice is to help individuals maximize this opportunity called life. Especially now. Times are tough. People are losing jobs, homes, retirement funds, college money, and for many people, they are losing hope. But as long as you are alive, you have the opportunity to not just survive - but thrive. The same can’t be said for those who The Innocence Project helps. Their opportunity has been stolen from them as they sit in jail cells wondering if the truth will ever come out.

So what do I mean by “this opportunity called life”? Let’s break it down.

Defined as an identifier. Which means that this life…your life…is it. It’s the only one you get. There’s no use in wishing that you were someone else because it’s not going to happen. As they say in poker – you gotta play the hand you were dealt. The good news is, with the right strategy and approach, this life – your life – can be filled with passion, contentment, fulfillment and success.

Defined as a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal. A good position, chance, or prospect for advancement or success. As long as you have breath – you have opportunity. The key is to be open to new ideas, new perspectives, and new thoughts about what’s possible for your life. However, to recognize and seize opportunities, you must also being willing to let go of old baggage, past disappointments, and the feeling of lost for what wasn’t.

We all have a purpose. A reason for being here. And that purpose is not just for you - it's for someone else. Your calling will give you the outlet for your purpose and it will have a positive impact on others – whether it is one person or 1 million people. Tapping into your calling helps the “opportunities” become more obvious.

This is not a dress rehearsal. There are no second takes. Your life is the sum of your experiences, relationships, choices, dreams, hopes and fears. Learn from your experiences. Nurture positive relationships and sever ties to those toxic relationships. Make smart choices based on your values, beliefs, and what’s right for you – not on what your family, society, or outside influences think. Dream big – always. Never lose your hope – it’s what keeps you going when all else seems lost. And since no life exists without fear – face them. As the saying goes – feel the fear and do it anyway.

Here’s to you taking full advantage of this opportunity called life!


  1. So true. Thinking about people who have been unjustly incarcerated--those who have had their opportunities taken away from them---really makes me want to do more with the freedoms and opportunities that I enjoy. It really makes you stop and appreciate the gifts that you have and question if you are making the most of them.

  2. Carpe diem is a Latin phrase meaning "seize the day". The phrase "when life gives you lemons, then make lemonade" also comes to mind.

    It always amazes and more importantly inspires me when I hear or read about stories of over comers such as Tyler Perry who in several years went from sleeping in his car to directing the number 1 movie in the country or Chris Gardner, the inspiration behind the movie Pursuit of Happyness, who went form homelessness to investment millionaire. There are many more examples, proof that no matter what our circumstances are, opportunites exists. Most of us know what to do but there is fear in doing. Properly prepare yourself, remove the fear and take full advantage of your opportunity.