How to identify opportunities in life


Kevin Mangelschots

Each experience, whether it’s positive or negative, brings with it an opportunity. A chance to learn something new, and to grow as a person. To pave a novel, different road for a better future.

It’s even said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. This entails that we can kind of create our own ‘luck’, or at the very least influence it.

But is it even possible to know when you’ve got a gem in your hands? I think it is. This is how to identify good opportunities in life.

Factors in opportunity recognition

Illustration of a magnifying glass going over the word “opportunity” indicating that it's searching for an opportunity.

  • Studying the environment

    The first step in the opportunity recognition process model is studying our environment. We must first examine the state of affairs so that we’re familiar enough to understand the potential advantages, but also the possible downsides of that specific situation.

    For instance, learning to recognize chances in chess to take pawns, or to checkmate means it’s a requirement to learn the basis of chess, but also the more advanced strategies if we want to take the utmost advantage. That’s done by studying the game and others through analysis, but also directly by playing experience.

    Another illustration is knowing the market when you want to make sales in business. When you don’t understand your audience, it’s going to be hard, if not downright impossible for you to become successful since you’re out of touch with your public. As a result, you won’t be able to give them what they want which is needed if you wish to make sales.

  • Paying attention to the changing information

    This universe isn’t a simple, static existence. It involves a lot of moving parts, which means that life, and our circumstances, are being altered all the time. Indeed,t it regularly happens so slowly that we aren’t even aware of it, but it happens nonetheless.

    Logically, that means we’ll have to adapt to thrive and even just prevent ourselves from being left behind by others and our rapidly changing environment. That might seem scary at first, which it kind of is, but it also presents new opportunities for those willing to switch it up.

  • Having the ability to use that information effectively

    The words “knowledge empowers you” written on a blackboard with chalk by someone's hand.

    Simply recognizing a possible chance isn’t enough. We need to learn how to capitalize on those chances if we want to actively improve our daily lives. That’s only possible if we acquire the necessary skills through experience, and by analyzing these opportunities and successful people all around us.

    Just being smart and analytic isn’t enough either. There are traits you’ll only gain through experience and vice versa. Thus, it’s best to combine both to gain the maximum benefits.

    Through lived experience

    The quote, “knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living” written on a blue background.

    If you’ve never dared to take opportunities before because you are afraid to fail, or possibly, afraid of success, then how do you know when the right opportunity comes along?

    It’s a sign of an arrogant mind if you simply believe that you can magically know when the perfect opportunity arises if you’ve never practiced looking for and taking the chances that get presented to you.

    Furthermore, even if you managed to find, and recognize the perfect opportunity or idea, how do you know to turn that ideal opportunity into something valuable and worthwhile?

    It’s incredibly hard, if not impossible to capitalize on an opportunity and make it successful if you’ve never tried taking an opportunity or acting on a thought before.

    Sometimes, trying to find the right possibility at a given point in your life is done by trial and error. We don’t just learn from analyzing and watching others, we study from our own experiences as well.

    Simply put, take every possible decent opportunity that arises and try out the different ideas that pop up in your head. That way, you’ll eventually find an amazing opportunity that you can capitalize on.

    Analyze your ideas and opportunities

    Image of a man pointing at graphics to explain something to another person.

    If you want to learn how to recognize the right opportunity or idea in your existence, then you must learn to analyze the thoughts and ideas that pop up in your mind.

    Learning to dissect your views, and figuring out whether something might be a good opinion or opportunity before acting upon it leads to increased awareness, and the ability to make better choices.

    It will help you weed out the bad ideas from the ones that have a chance at succeeding. It teaches you to break down the strengths and weaknesses of your personal views. In return, it’ll allow you to estimate if an idea has a decent chance of working out or not.

    Examining your opportunities means you must roughly speaking know what works and what doesn’t. You must dissect and realize at what times, and why you have failed in the past. Then, you have to learn your lessons from your past mistakes too to know which ideas have a chance of working out in the future.

    A lot of ideas won’t be the right ones and won’t work out the way you wanted, or at least not the way you expected them to. However, there’s an opportunity in everything we do during our short lives. There are possibilities in both the good and bad events life throws at us.

    Thus, we learn to identify opportunities in life by analyzing and carefully dissecting our thoughts and ideas.

What is an opportunity?

A person standing on the road with three arrows indicating multiple directions to go in.

An opportunity is a specific circumstance or period that allows for an opening to do, or gain, something valuable or worthwhile. It’s a favorable occurrence of multiple circumstances all at once.

Yet, most chances only have a short window of opportunity, which means we have to act quickly if we desire to take advantage of that possibility.

Good chances don’t come along all that frequently, so make sure to reap the benefits when possible.

Window of opportunity meaning

A window of opportunity stands for the short amount of time we have to take advantage of the circumstances, or chance, that gets presented to us. It’s typically a fleeting period that closes quickly.

For example, a clothes store offers a limited-time deal to buy clothes at a discount during the summer. Thus, the window of opportunity in this specific business is during the summer months.

Importance of opportunity recognition

Image of a stamp with the word “important”.
It’s important to recognize good opportunities since they don’t come along often, and are a critical ability and entrepreneurial skill to take advantage of those chances.
The general public can use those possibilities to improve their lives, while entrepreneurs can employ these opportunities to figure out and carve out their specific niche to gain profit from their audience by providing a helpful service.


Image of a hand holding a card with the word “conclusions” written in blue.

Learning how to identify good opportunities in life is doable when putting in the necessary practice while analyzing a lot.

And that probably means you’re going to be bad at it at first. Very few people have the talent and luck required to inherently know when the right opportunity and idea comes along.

That’s why you’ve got to be willing to be the fool before you can become the master.

The first opportunity you decide to take will most likely not be the correct one. But eventually, with enough determination and accurate reasoning, the right one will come along. And if it does, you’ll be ready to make the most out of it by taking advantage of that chance.