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Assessing Opportunities

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How many times have you been presented with an opportunity in life, but can’t decide whether you should take the opportunity or let is pass?  Unless you live in a box and have complete control over your life, opportunities are impossible to avoid.  These might be opportunities to move to a new town, take a new job, add a member to your family, or go out with friends on a Saturday night.  Additionally, once presented with the opportunity, how many times have you thought to yourself, “I just can’t decide if I want to do it or not?”

“Indecision is the thief of productivity.”  – Jim Rohn

Indecision can sometimes be experienced as a lack of control over our lives.  Those who hold onto a feeling of control will start to feel frustrated over indecision.  This frustration will rob us of our experiences and will start to pull our focus away from what makes us happy and toward those items that cause us more frustration.  So, to avoid these periods of indecision, we need a system to assessing opportunity.

I was reminded of this system recently when a member approached me to tell me she is leaving Pittsburgh.  It was no real surprise.  She told me months ago that she was looking for jobs elsewhere and that she hoped to move sometime this Fall.  At the time she first broke the news, she and I had a conversation about how to assess the various job opportunities that would come her way.  We touched on this system again when she told me she would be leaving in two weeks.

I learned about the GWC system from Ben Bergeron, of course.  GWC is short for Get it, Want it, Capacity to do it.  This is a three step process that will help you assess a situation by forcing you to ask sometimes hard questions.


Question 1:  Do you Get It?  Simply put, do you “get” the opportunity?  Do you understand what the opportunity is?  Do you understand what the new job entails?  Do you understand what it involves to have a child or get a pet?  Do you know what is involved in moving from one state to another?


Question 2:  Is this even something you want?  Using the easy example of a new job, once you understand what the job involves, do you even want it?  Maybe you thought the job was going to be completely different.  Maybe you don’t really want to go to the bar Saturday night with your friends because you had a long week.  Once you realize how involved it is to potty train a dog, maybe the task is too much for you.


Question 3:  Do you have the capacity to do it?  This means the ability to do it.  Do you have the qualifications for the new job?  Do you have the time to devote to raising a dog?  Do you have the money to buy the new car?  Do you have the time to plan the fundraiser?

This process is really easy, but requires you to be 100% honest with yourself.  If you answer the three questions in the affirmative, then you are making the right decision and you should take the opportunity.  If you answer any of the questions in the negative, then taking the opportunity will potentially cause you even more frustration and unhappiness.  Marilyn Manson (I know, odd reference) once wrote a song called “The New S#*t.”  The song is a social commentary on society’s need for the new shiny object.  Just because it is new, we feel the desire to have it.  There is a line in the song, “Do we get it?  No, Do we want it? Yes.”  It is a surprisingly good example of following the GWC system to determine whether the opportunity is or is not right for us.

On our path to a happier life, frustration and anger are cross roads that are hard to avoid.  We let circumstances and events out of our control impact how we handle a situation.  Indecision and making the wrong decisions will only cause more frustration and anger.  However, we have complete control over the decision we make.  Use the GWC process to help you make the right decisions so you only partake in happier opportunities.

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