According to James F. Byrnes, “Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity.” I absolutely agree with him.

The proverb “Seize the day (moment)” was coined by the Roman poet Horace (circa 20 B.C.) who wrote in The Odes: “Carpe Diem, quam minimum credula postero.” (“Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow.”) Now it’s used more often in the sense “take charge” … take advantage of the opportunity ... don’t procrastinate … DO ‘IT’ NOW!

What IT? Well, ‘IT’ could be putting together your network, developing your brand, starting a home-based business, building a huge MLM downline, or going all out in terms of marketing yourself. Or improving your communication skills (including expanding your vocabulary and ameliorating your grammar), working on your sense of humor, celebrating your relationship with yourself and / or your ‘significant other’.

Or ‘IT’ could be any of the ideas, plans, projects you are currently working on, or contemplating starting. Like renovating the house, expanding the garden, learning how to parachute jump, completing a master’s degree, firing your boss and starting your own business, writing a book or a play, taking a sabbatical to travel around the world, retiring so you can build that sailboat or do some volunteer work … Whatever IT is, we—that’s me and the many gurus quoted below—want to encourage you to go ahead and follow the advice of the Nike® people: JUST DO IT!

“Your success in life does not altogether depend on ability and training; it also depends on your determination to grasp opportunities that are presented to you.” Paramahansa Yogananda

“The game of football is like the game of life. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.” Lewis Grizzard

“OPPORTUNITY is N O W H E R E ... or N O W H E R E ... It just depends on how you look at it!”

Albert Einstein’s Three Rules of Work:
1. Out of clutter find simplicity.
2. From discord find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

“Opportunityis missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

“See an opportunity. Seize it. Work at ‘IT’ and DO ‘IT’!”

One of the problems that’s been plaguing society since the dawn of civilization (and it’s a biggie) is that there are a LOT of people out there—not you of course, but I’m sure you know some—who are not crazy about ‘working’ to improve their circumstances, who prefer to sit and ‘wish’ things were different, better … “It is useless to indulge in wishful thinking” is the message of the following two old proverbs: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”, and “If a pig had wings, it could fly.”

Wise observations. So is this more modern one by Alexander Woolcott:

“Too many people spend half their time wishing for things they could have if they didn’t spend half their time wishing.”

Coming back to the title of this article, another big problem plaguing society is the illusion of ‘security’. Helen Keller—who had all the reasons in the world to ‘stay put’ and ‘fly low’—made this apropos observation: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing ... Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.”

I recently heard a speaker share this with her audience because she wanted to urge them not to settle for their lot in life:

“It’s only the view from where you sit that makes you feel defeat,
Life is full, with many aisles, so why don’t you change your seat?”

I think that’s a good start … if you absolutely, decidedly want to watch the ‘happening’ from one of the seats. But why not come down on the field instead and experience life firsthand? Here are some of Les Brown’ s (adapted) words on this topic (from one of his ‘kick-ass’ seminars):

“Here’s a quiet secret most people don’t know, or think about: You can’t get out of life alive. Hello! You can die in the bleachers (as a life ‘spectator’) or you can die on the field (as a life ‘participant’). But you won’t get out of this stadium called ‘LIFE’ alive. So you might as well come down on the field and have some fun while you’re here!”

Have fun, take risks, seize opportunities, be bold, dare to live … to the max! MAKE YOUR LIFE AN ADVENTURE. It was G.K. Chesterton who said: “Adventure is the Champagne of life.” To which author and speaker emeritus Sam Horn added, “Drink up!”

In his best seller What Color Is Your Parachute, Richard N. Bolles wrote “One of the saddest lines in the world is, ‘Oh come now—be realistic.’”

I agree with Mr. Bolles, and history is our witness. The best parts of this world were fashioned by those who DARED to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride.

Here’s a contribution from my friend Craig Valentine—speaker and author extraordinaire:

An unsuspected enemy
“Most people think the reason they do not live their dreams is because some bad obstacles get in their way. That is not it. One of the most commonplace reasons many people do not live their dreams is because something ‘good’ gets in their way. Sometimes the enemy of the best is the good, because that is an obstacle dressed as an opportunity.

Most people have that best dream in their heart, that thing we know we were put on earth to do, and we are passionate about it. When we start moving toward it, our success breeds opportunities. We look at these opportunities and then look back at our dream. We say to ourselves, ‘Well, that opportunity is not really my dream, but it looks good, pays well, and … I’ll take it.’ We take it, we stay, and we settle, and that is why we feel unsettled.

Most people have a feeling of restlessness burning within them, because they have settled while their dream is still calling them. You will never get rid of that restlessness and that feeling that something in life is missing, until you turn, face, and move toward your dream. Do not settle for the good when the best is still within you. Manifest your greatness.”

Thank you Craig.

Think of how many times you’ve heard the story of an actor who passed up the opportunity to play a best role in a movie that turned out to be one of the five movies nominated in the best picture category, because they were busy playing a good role in a movie that ended up a box-office bust. It’s like that for you and me too. We have to think of every opportunity that comes our way as a chance to play a part. The question is whether it’s a good part, or a best part. Which part we play is ultimately our choice. Let’s choose wisely!

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their entrances and exits; and one man in his time plays many parts.” William Shakespeare

“Most people are extras in their own movie. They have the possibility to write the script for it, to direct it, and they’re not even casting themselves a speaking part—more like a walk-on, walk-off part.” Bob Proctor

“This earth is a stage. Each person has his own part to play …Greatness doesn’t lie in our role, but in how well we play it.” Paramahansa Yogananda

“Whatever part you’ve decided to play, give an Oscar-winning performance.” Sinara Stull O’Donnell, Be the Star of Your Life

Sinara was a good friend of mine, an extraordinary speaker, author and all-around human being. She passed away a couple of years ago, in her mid-forties. But man, she gave an Oscar-winning performance…

What about you?

BE the very best you can be,
DO all you can possibly do,
GET everything you want to have,
GIVE as much of it as you can give.

Daniel G. St-Jean
Aka The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean’s mission is to instruct and ignite the people who are just thinking about making significant changes in their life, and to support and encourage those who are in the midst of making such changes so they get to live the life they really want to live. Visit his web site at, read his Blog at and subscribe to his eSparks at