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Last updated on 1/6/20

Identify your opportunities and threats

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If you have closed it, reopen your analysis tool (or start with this template) to perform the third task.

Step 3 is to identify your opportunities and threats.
Step 3 is to identify your opportunities and threats in relation to your goal.

Seize the opportunities available to you

Which opportunities will help you reach your goal?
Which opportunities will help you reach your goal?

To identify your opportunities, consider that you will need a bit of luck to achieve your goal. If you think that luck is a synonym for chance, this idea may seem surprising. However, I invite you to think of luck in this simple way:

Luck = opportunity + preparation.

To attract luck, be attentive to all favourable opportunities and circumstances. With the suitable learning schedule, you will be prepared to seize them.

 How to recognise opportunities?

Opportunities may take different forms from one goal to another. If you are undertaking a career change, then job offers or courses in your future field are examples of opportunities. If you are in a job and decide to advance in your career, each new responsibility or promotion is an opportunity. If the development you are undertaking is purely personal and not professional, then everything can become a learning opportunity.

Not all opportunities are easy to grasp. You need to demonstrate resilience to overcome the desirable difficulties that are an integral part of the learning process.

That said, from one opportunity to another, you need to overcome more or fewer difficulties for a result that is more or less satisfying.

How do you differentiate between a good and a bad opportunity?

The first thing you need to analyse is how the opportunity in question matches up with your strategic goal.

Then, like a business person, you could think in terms of return on investment. In other words, evaluate the relationship between what you will pay for the opportunity and what it can earn. Understand "earn" here in a broad sense, and not just in a financial sense. 

Return on education = profits / losses

Moreover, you need to consider the opportunity cost. You invest more than money in your education. You also invest time and energy which are limited resources. Taking one opportunity and not another implies hidden costs and, potentially, a loss of income.

Rely on different levels of motivation to help you select opportunities

If that approach does not help you, go back to your most fundamental decision-making tool, your motivation. If you have seen the video and remember it, you will be able to differentiate at least two types of motivation.

  • Intrinsic motivation: you decide your actions yourself through pure pleasure or personal interest, without expecting an external reward.

  • Extrinsic motivation: outside circumstances guide your actions. Your goal is to receive a reward or avoid a punishment. 

You can use these distinctions as a decision-making tool or a tool to help in decision-making. A good opportunity should motivate you intrinsically and extrinsically. Put it into your Ikigai diagram!

Place your opportunities in your Ikigai diagramme.
Place opportunities in your Ikigai diagram.

The closer the opportunity is to the centre, or enables you to balance your various projects, the more it is worth trying to seize it.

Protect yourself against potential threats

What can compromise the achievement of your goal?
What could compromise the achievement of your goal?

Calmly and objectively, list the actual or potential obstacles to achieving your strategic goal. They could take the form of:

  • catastrophic scenarios

  • unfortunate mistakes

  • recurring professional misconduct

In other words, anticipate what bad luck would look like:

Bad luck = opportunity + lack of preparation.

Summary

  • Recognise and benefit from good opportunities by:

    • considering the return on investment,

    • taking advantage of intrinsic motivation, or internal rewards that motivate us, and

    • taking advantage of extrinsic motivation, or external rewards that motivate us.

  • Protect against threats by identifying them and preparing accordingly.

In the next chapter, you will correlate your strengths and weaknesses with your opportunities and threats to perfect your learning tactics and prioritise your subjects of study.

Example of certificate of achievement
Example of certificate of achievement