That was one heck of a battle.

If you haven’t seen last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones yet, it’s ok to read on. Other than a battle, there’s no spoilers.

I found it interesting to see how the different characters handled the situation they were in. What they did with the circumstances they had, and how they created opportunities to make things happen.

This week’s tip is for everyone who doesn’t get to fight with witchcraft, Valyrian steel, or dragonglass.


PS: Anyone know where I can get a pet dragon?

Find potential in all opportunity.

We often see other people’s success and think that they started with a better opportunity than we’ve been given. Sometimes that’s true, but often we overlook the potential that is right in front of us. We tend to think that we’re getting a bad hand while others get all the good stuff.

Here are three common excuses you may find familiar:

1. At work, we may think that our co-worker gets assigned better projects than we do. We dismiss that she may have got a similar bad brief. We downplay how her work turns into greatness and overlook her extra resourcefulness. Consider that not all tasks need to be done as requested. Some benefit by breaking the rules and being ultra creative.

2. In a book club, our friend may stand out by having a very interesting point of view, influenced by an article he read. We chalk up our personal lack of motivation to not liking the assigned book, but we could have researched new angles as well. Brainstorming for inspiring, fresh ideas can help us enhance the opportunities we receive, and a bit of extra research can bring surprising results.

3. Maybe we use a friend’s highly recommended contractor for a renovation. Instead of getting a beautiful, new bathroom, we end up not happy with the work. We forget that our friend has had more experience working with contractors than we have, and we could have asked for help in that area. Asking questions and having a deep curiosity can not only help us figure out how to improve a condition, it can also lead to new levels of expertise, through the power of collaboration.

Sure, sometimes our opportunities in life are not great, but they all have potential if we can figure out how to get more out of them. It’s too easy to just think that other people are more fortunate, and not put in the effort required to make what we have, great. It’s not about the hand we’re dealt, it’s about how we play it.

Take action: Find value in what you do. Sometimes a task feels menial, but if you reframe it, you can turn it into an opportunity. Plus, these sorts of circumstances tend to have a snowball effect. If you perform well consistently, the opportunities in front of you will grow more favorable.

:: Inspired by Paul Arden’s book, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be.