Thomas Edison's wise words bring life to anyone who has experienced frustrations due to missed opportunities. The person who finds themselves to be "unlucky", the individual who never seems to get a break, the one who seems to stay in the same rut time and time again. These are all examples of people who fail to hustle while they wait. Edison's timeless quote contains within it two crucial words that we should pay close attention to...wait and hustle.
I looked up the meaning of the word "wait" in my Oxford dictionary and found two definitions. The first definition is to "defer action for a specified time or until a specific action occurs." The second meaning of the word wait is "to be expectant or on the watch." To me, these two definitions of the same term have two completely opposite meanings. Deferring an action and being in a state of expectancy are different actions which create very unique outcomes.
The person who chooses to defer specific action will not behave in the same manner as the one who is expectant. When one expects something to occur, that person will be busy waiting. If you expect company to come at 3:00 pm, you will likely be preparing for the visit all the way until the doorbell rings. When it does, you will be ready for their arrival. On the other hand, if you are not expecting someone over, and you receive a visit at 3:00 pm, you will probably spend several frantic seconds attempting to spruce up your house before you have to open the door. Even though you have put forth a valiant effort to appear prepared for the visit, your lack of preparation will be evident. Such is the person who spends her idle time not preparing for the probable.
So you didn't get the promotion, were you spending adequate time in active expectation of the opportunity? In other words, were you hustling while you waited? Were you the most prepared candidate for the role?
One of the definitions of the word hustle is to "obtain by forceful action." Not just any action but forceful action. Forceful meaning powerful or vigorous. Imagine the kind of results that occur through the use of consistent, forceful, powerful action while you expectantly wait for your next opportunity. Edison's quote says that everything comes to him who hustles while he waits. Does it mean that the person who is constantly creating powerful action in preparation will come across more opportunity than someone else?
Although it may not seem that way, the truth is that most everyone will come across various opportunities on a daily basis. The question is not whether an opportunity will present itself to you. The question is whether or not the situation is an opportunity to you. An opportunity is only defined as such if there is a favorable chance of you being able to take advantage of the circumstance. Nine times out of ten, your chances will be less than favorable unless you are adequately prepared beforehand. A home valued at $250,000 which is on the market for $150,000 will be an opportunity for a great investment only for those who are financially prepared to make an offer for the home.
I remember hearing a story from motivational speaker Les Brown about his first big break on the radio. He worked odd jobs at a radio station when he was young but his dream was to become a radio host. Les began to prepare for the opportunity by developing a radio persona that he would share with the world whenever the opportunity presented itself. Then one day Les was presented the opportunity when the person behind the microphone began to indulge himself with alcoholic beverages so he could no longer effectively do his job.
The station manager quickly called Les, who was the only other person at the station at the time, and asked that he go behind the booth and play music until the next DJ arrived. When Les hung up the phone with the station manager, he knew that this was the perfect moment for him. He rushed into the DJ booth and instinctively unleashed the radio persona that he practiced so many times before. Les was a hit! Had he not practiced day in and day out, he may have not developed the confidence to just walk in and do what he had to do. Worse yet, he may not have been prepared to speak to live audience over the air. Les could have stumbled through the show so badly that he may have even jeopardized his job. But because Les hustled while he waited, he was fully prepared to take advantage of the opportunity that became his big break.
Take a moment to think about all of the fantastic opportunities that you are hoping to run across. What if you were presented the opportunity to do some of those things today, would you be ready? Would you be ready to start your new business or to land that new job? Start to hustle today while you wait for your chance. Take powerful consistent action everyday to prepare you and expect the best outcome. Who knows, tomorrow may be your lucky day.
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