The Most Important Lesson You’ll Ever Learn About Opportunity

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Two shoe makers go to a remote village.

One of them immediately gives up and goes home, declaring, “It’s hopeless! Nobody here wears shoes.”

The other, smiling, declares “What a glorious business opportunity! Nobody here wears shoes”.

Opportunity is something that you discover, not something that you wait for


Whether it’s new business idea, a new career direction, a new journey, or a new friend or lover, however you define it, the opportunities in life are endless. They surround you like air.

You don’t have to have an expensive education, or special training to see them. You don’t even have to go looking for them.

You just have to keep your eyes and mind open.

Right now, there are countless problems that needs to be solved, people who need help, places to go, people to meet, and so many things to learn and discover about the world.

Most people trundle through life, blindly, on auto-pilot. Like the first shoe maker, they may see a glass, but they can’t help but think it’s half empty.

It’s not complicated. If you’re waiting for a new opportunity to come to you, you should know, it’s already there.

Can you see it?


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  • Mark Fuller

    Thank you…I love your posts!

  • Merry

    Love this post. And I just LOVE your blog! It’s my favorite minimalist blog, and I always come back almost daily for inspiration. 🙂


  • Peter Iacovou

    Thank you for another amazing post Jessica, I do hope that you posted more often like you used to, but I guess you are busy. I hope all is well, keep up! 🙂

  • minimalistcouple

    Oh, how much I enjoy discovering opportunities, and more importantly, doing something with them. My current opportunity implementation is in writing, and I am just finishing off my first book which I will publish soon. I am so excited 🙂


  • Anni

    Yeah, I like your posts, too, but I really wish you would talk about something else every once in a while… not the same abstract inspirational stuff over and over.

    Please don’t get me wrong, it’s very well written and thought out and obviously wants to be shared, but honestly, Jessica, you’re such an amazing, extraordinary, interesting person!

    I’d really like to hear a little more about you, your goals and dreams, your travelling, your “minimal” life again!

    • Hi Anni, thank you for your feedback.

      I guess I didn’t realise people actually found my life interesting! I didn’t want to babble about myself too much, lest this blog turns into a personal diary, but I am planning on writing more about it in the future. It was just that the last few months of my life were spent doing important things that were not travelling or doing things that were minimalist/exciting, but now that I have finished off a couple of major (boring) projects, I will get back on track!

      In the meantime, I was hoping shorter posts that are generally applicable to most of my readers will inspire them to do the very amazing things that I’ve been missing dearly! As I have hoped some have written back with their stories. Without these kind of posts, I don’t think I’d have anything to write about at all!

      Anyway, I hope you keep reading, and please look forward to at least a couple of personal posts in the future 🙂


  • Issy Goode

    I love this post! Since starting university I’ve really changed my views on opportunities, and rather than missing out on them believing I’m not good enough, I’ve changed my views and decided to take any opportunity thrown at me 🙂

    This is a really inspiring post!

    I’ve also just followed you on bloglovin’, your blog is excellent.

    • Issy Goode

  • James

    Hello Jessica, I’ve been visiting your blog from time to time over these past years. After getting some health problems and having some pets and family members die, I started to realize collecting material stuff and wanting nice clothes/jewelry/cars to show off was stupid, and then I found blogs like yours on the internet. Often now as I go about my daily life I think of a quote I saw on your blog “Life is as transient as the clouds”, in particular I think of this quote when I’m tempted to hold on to or acquire material possessions.

    It seems to me that the businessmen in this story see the villagers as nothing more than an opportunity to make money. Both men see the villagers have been living fine without shoes ( since they’ve lived their whole lives barefooted, the soles of their feet have become tough and leathery, so they can even walk over stones in comfort), but then one of the businessmen comes up with the idea that he’ll create a desire in them for shoes so that he can sell them this object of desire. This seems like a capitalist and materialist parable more than a minimalist or Buddhist one.

    • Hi James, good point! You could definitely look at it that way, these people might have lived fine without shoes because they never needed them. But, in terms of opportunity, you can see the stark difference attitude makes, even in the same situation. If you look at it that way, there is definitely a lesson there.