How Do You Look at Opportunity?

The decision to accept a new opportunity can be difficult. You may react to opportunities in one of three ways; abhor, ignore or explore.

Let’s call this a Decision Wheel. Whether it’s a new product, a new idea, or a new way of doing something, are you quick to react by jumping into one of these modes?


In order for you to have the most fulfilling success in work, life or faith, you must be aware of your natural, go-to mode when confronted with something new.

I have seen this phenomenon play out in all aspects of my life. At work, when I have had to present new plans to my team, I see all three modes present. At home, when I am feeling the need to change course with my spouse or kids, working through those changes often spawns one of these responses. The same holds true in my faith. When I am taught about a new, deeper truth, I will be the one reacting in one of these ways.

Changes that may come your way from strange and unknown sources just might prove to be the best possible opportunities for the next chapter of your life. Please consider the way in which you react to proposed changes before you waive them away.

In addition to the personal impact of facing a change or something new, managers must be aware of these powers when trying to lead a team. As you announce change and opportunity in the work place, your staff may react in one of these three ways. Your own ability to address the reaction will go a long way to make change happen.

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Now let’s dive deeper into the three mindsets:

Abhor (abˈhôr)

This is an old word we don’t use much these days. Webster defines it this way:

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe, mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. Hate that implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice

This is the worst kind of dislike. People being pitched a new idea might initially abhor the idea. Responses like “Why are you bothering me with that idea?” or “Are you crazy? That sounds so ridiculous.” And my favorite “Are you sure that is not a scam?”

Yes, we all need to be wise about get-rich-quick schemes and other possible scams coming from total strangers. However, when people you may have known for years present you with a new idea, do you think they would be likely to scam you? Why the need to react so negatively?

Abhorring an idea presented by someone you usually trust (like a family friend or your boss) really seems like an overreaction, wouldn’t you think?


Next we upgrade our response just a little to the mindset of ignore. You can hear an idea and simply choose to ignore it. Ok, maybe you are just too busy or over committed to add a new change in your life. I get that.

However, I am not talking about the flavor of coffee you drink or the brand of toothpaste you use. I am talking about serious, perhaps life altering changes that come your way. We have all had those invitations to go somewhere or look at a new job or change careers. Yet, how many of you (myself included) choose to simply pass on the idea. You don’t get mad as in abhorring the idea, you just pass. 

The idea’s details are never revealed. The scope of the idea is never reviewed, you just let it go.

Let me interject something here. With both of these first two mindsets, the well-meaning friends, neighbors, or associates who were bold enough to share the opportunity with you in the first place will eventually stop thinking of involving you in the future.


Now we come to the only positive response in this decision wheel. You can hear an idea and choose to explore it. Exploring an idea does not mean you pay your money or sign some contract. It means you are open to the possibility; listen to the details, read the material, see the show, etc. Yes, I know this might take extra time from your schedule.

Worst case, you spend some time and brain power doing an analysis of the proposal only to decline. At least you’ve kept the idea open.  

Best case, the idea turns out to be a reasonable, maybe even big, opportunity. Maybe it is something you have never done before, but is now a direction that makes great sense.


I think you can see two of the three possible outcomes are negative. By landing in the abhor or ignore mindset, you could very well be denying yourself a very fulfilling opportunity (rewarding, satisfying, financially better, etc.). Agreeing to explore an opportunity could open new doors. In the first two modes, you guarantee your status quo, changing nothing. If you explore new things, you might just be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

So jump on the decision wheel and try explore before ignore or abhor.

[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]Facing #newopportunity? Try explore before ignore or abhor. http://dougthorpe.us/29I5xqR[/shareable]

[reminder]Which mode is your go-to response when faced with a new opportunity?[/reminder]




Introducing the WHY.os. Learn YOUR why, how, and what that drives your passion and motivation.


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