This blog post was written in a unique part of the world, amidst one of the strangest periods in modern history. This very moment I’m in Dubai, a young, growing metropolis situated in what was once, not so long ago, a desert. Even in this oasis, Covid is taken seriously. Most people wear masks and receptions in hotels and commercial buildings are manned with people holding temperatures guns to ensure those entering the premises are not unwell.
I came here for a few reasons: to see people I was unable to meet earlier in the year due to travel restrictions; to reconsider the city as a potential place to live some day – still not sure; and to enjoy a little time in the sun – early on in the year when flights worldwide pretty much grounded to a halt I was very fortunate to have found attractively priced tickets to the Emirate so I took a gamble and reserved tickets.
Earlier today I sat somewhere quiet, away from people, to think. Somewhere a stone’s throw from the water.
As I sat there staring at the ebb and flow of the tides I thought about life and opportunity. The image of a man appeared before me. A man whom I befriended late last year in a London yoga studio. We both attended the same classes on Wednesdays and Fridays and over time got to know one another. The funny thing is that he wrote the script to a film I love. A film I watched many times over and spoke about with family and friends on countless occasions. At one point I told this individual (scriptwriter / director) that I’d written several scripts and he kindly suggested we meet so he could offer me advice on writing and pitching concepts to film companies. Next, my mind jumped to another person. An A-list actor whose films I’d always enjoyed. I’d always thought, “He must be such a cool guy to work with”. Out of nowhere one day an investment proposition came to me and it was to finance one of that actor’s films, a major Hollywood blockbuster. Then my mind jumped to yet another person. One of the UK’s leading real estate entrepreneurs. A client of mine who over time has become a good friend. For the longest time I had wished to meet a real estate investor / entrepreneur in London I could get close to. Someone with a particular set of qualities and attributes. Talented. Clever. Tenacious. Highly successful. And, importantly, grounded and humble. One day, I picked up the newspaper and on the front page was an article about such a person. After a brief Google search, I picked up the phone and called his company. In fact, I called several times. Eventually, he met me and after a while he became a client of mine and we ended up doing a number of deals together.
These are but a few examples of a strange phenomena you may have read or heard about. One popularised in a number of self-help books. It goes like this: you think deeply about something and the universe conspires to manifest it for you. Here, I don’t mean you tell yourself, “I want to be rich”, and the next day you win the lottery. Rather, what ends up happening is that doors mysteriously open and opportunities present themselves.
I’ve always believed in the existence of a higher force, as well as the ubiquity of energy which impacts our every day life and connects us all to one another.
In short, I think if you truly and deeply want something, the energy you emit from these thoughts can be heard by the universe and can lead to external changes which may ultimately address your wants.
Anyways, as I sat by the water and my mind began to ponder this concept I delved a little deeper. I revisited times in the past when opportunities presented themselves to me. And it became clear that if you want something and the universe responds by opening a door, it is but just the start of a process. See, you may wish to meet, say, a film director who will offer you the chance to audition for a film role, a professor who could offer to be your tutor for your PhD, a senior investment banker who has the power to hire you in his M&A team, a corporate executive who could hire you to do some freelance work for her firm, or any person you believe holds the key to something you desire. And I truly believe the universe does open doors for many of us – though we may not always see them. But unless we then give it all we can and go beyond the norm and outside of our comfort zone to seize that opportunity and step up then it slowly fades away like a burning candle which has reached its end.
I’ve been guilty of it many times. I get the opportunity but I don’t do enough to follow through. Sounds familiar? We get super excited by the prospects before us and feel that this magical event, because it’s timing is so unusual and uncanny, means perhaps it was meant to be. So we get slightly complacent. We rest on our laurels. We don’t give it as much as we should, which should in fact be much more than the norm for the opportunity that has presented itself is itself quite extraordinary and therefore ought to be matched with corresponding intensity.
I suppose I’m writing this because I want to welcome such opportunities – I hope they keep coming for me and you – with more open and anxious arms in the future. And to seize them with everything I have.
To a great 2021, full of health and happiness to all of you!