Giving Thanks for Opportunities

The older I get, the more I appreciate what I learned from my elders. There is so much wisdom in the simplest phrases and expressions, much of which can be applied to finding success in business.

One expression that I always found particularly amusing is “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” At first, it sounds silly; what could this possibly be all about? Where did this horse come from? Why would you look a horse in its mouth? Well, this saying has a surprisingly clear, and rather literal, meaning behind it – a meaning that everyone can and should apply to their lives.

As horses age, they develop more teeth. When that happens, their existing teeth then begin to change in shape and alignment. The older the horse, the further the horse’s teeth will project forward; new teeth push out the old. Coincidentally, this is also the origin of another common phrase: “long in the tooth.” A specialist can look at a horse and determine its age by merely examining its mouth.

The expression “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” is advising you to graciously accept a gift without further examination. If you stare into a horse’s mouth and have a good look around, you might find that it is older than expected and realize your ‘gift’ isn’t as good as you wished for. The horse may be tired, and it may not live as long, but at the end of the day, a horse is a horse. You should be grateful to have received the gift. If you look a horse in the mouth, you seem ungrateful for your gift.

This isn’t just applicable because we’re in the holiday season, it is equally important in your professional life as well. When approaching a new business opportunity, you must remember that an opportunity is just that: an opportunity. Whether it is a quick chat with a potential new client or a chance to invest in the next ground-breaking invention, be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way. No opening is too big or too small, because at the end of the day, no matter the magnitude of the opportunity, it is more than you had yesterday. Be grateful for everything that is presented to you and recognize that no one is entitled to a gift. We should have a positive outlook and count our blessings, large and small.

When someone offers you a gift or presents a business opportunity, refrain from judging and evaluating its worth. Instead of picking it apart and loudly explaining why it’s not good enough, accept the present for what it is and say thank you. Otherwise, it shows poor taste. We should never be ungrateful. I often apply this line of thinking to other situations as well. Sometimes, we get in the way of our own success when we “look the gift horse in the mouth” and over-analyze all the reasons why something can’t be done or won’t work.

But wait, there’s more! While it’s certainly exciting, motivating and ego-boosting to receive gifts and new business opportunities, we should be careful not to go all-in too quickly. This means you should be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket – another expression that I am quite fond of that dates back to the 1600s. Quite literally, if something should happen to that basket, you lose everything.

It’s the perfect expression to remind us of the importance of distributing our resources across many channels and not relying on one endeavor. Financial advisement 101 teaches us to diversify our investments. Guidance counselors encourage students to apply to several prospective universities for admission in case they are rejected from their top choice. The very essence of putting together a leadership team is to ensure a company doesn’t put all of its eggs in one basket, like the CEO.

There is always a chance that a new opportunity has the potential to be life-changing. But it would be extremely foolish to risk your life savings and bet on its success. There is always the “what if” that lurks around the corner.

That being said, if you continue to have success by doing certain things, such as meeting a client over coffee to close a deal, or flying a client out to see your office, then by all means stick with what works. But you may also want to experiment with new things as well. You may find something that works even better when you try different things.

So during this season of giving thanks, take a moment to reflect on these simple expressions that still hold such wisdom. And above all, be thankful for every gift and for every opportunity, large or small.


Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Elizabeth Yin
10 things you didn’t know about Elizabeth Yin
Lior Susan
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Lior Susan
Flying
20 Things You Didn’t Know about Wisk Aero
Sipho Maseko
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sipho Maseko
Greenlight Debit Card
20 Things You Did Not Know about Greenlight
NFT Market
The Top Five NFT Marketplaces Out Right Now
Activist Investors
What Exactly is Activist Investing?
Apple Products
Five Stocks That Most Billionaire Investors Own
Hiking Tahiti
A Traveler’s Guide to Hiking in Tahiti
NOTaBLE
The 10 Best Restaurants in Calgary, Canada
Hyatt Regency Calgary
The 10 Best Hotels in Calgary, Canada
Montevideo, Uruguay
The 20 Best Places to Live in Latin America
The 10 Best Pontiac Firebird Models of All-Time
Why Did They Stop Making The Pontiac GTO?
What to Look for in a Used Buick Enclave
Best Buick SUV Models
The 10 Best Buick SUV Models of All Time
Hermes Klikti watch 17 x 16 mm
The Five Most Expensive Hermes Watches Money Can Buy
Louis Vuitton Tambour Daimer Cobalt Blue And Gold Chronograph 46
The Five Best Louis Vuitton Watches Money Can Buy
Chopard Alpine Eagle Ladies' Small
The Five Finest Gold Chopard Watches
Chopard
The Used Chopard Watch: A Buyer’s Guide
Kit Harington
How Kit Harington Achieved a Net Worth of $14 Million
Anil Ambani
How Anil Ambani’s Net Worth Crumbled to Almost Zero
How Toby Fox Achieved a Net Worth of $3 Million
Pedro Pascal
How Pedro Pascal Achieved a Net Worth of $10 Million