The Golden Opportunity

A powerful idea for the New Year

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Now, onto Issue 54.

The Golden Opportunity

Today is the final day of 2023.

I want to close the year by sharing a lesson that changed my life this year.

I hope it does the same for you in 2024.

In Issue 48, I wrote about one of my endurance adventures this year.

It was a 24-hour continuous hike through the Georgia wilderness. We covered 51.9 miles.

I remember one distinct moment.

The August sun was starting to set. It was probably around 7:30pm (we weren’t allowed to carry watches or phones, so we never knew what time it was). My back had stiffened. My feet ached.

And one thought was dominating my mind:

I don’t want to be here anymore.

We still had more than 10 hours to go.

My “golden opportunity” had arrived.

My friend is a highly accomplished endurance athlete.

He ran a 250-mile race this year. He’s won multiple “Last Man Standing” events. He’s a beast.

The Golden Opportunity, as he explains it, is the moment when something has gotten hard enough where you don’t want to do it any longer.

That’s the moment when growth begins.

Everything up to that point was you operating within your existing capabilities. It was the process of earning the opportunity to grow.

Now, to keep moving forward, you’re forced to expand your capabilities. You have to “get outside your comfort zone.”

This concept applies to all facets of life.

A few practical “everyday life” examples:

  1. Your business has hit hard times. Revenue is declining. Costs are increasing. It’s challenging to get new customers. You’re constantly stressed. You’ve been grinding on this business for years. You’re ready to shut it down.

  2. You’re arguing with your spouse. It’s been a long week. There are challenges at work. A good friend just got a bad diagnosis. You’re emotionally spent. You don’t want to have the challenging conversation with your spouse that needs to be had.

  3. Your kids have been fighting all weekend. They won’t listen. They won’t treat each other kindly. They’re terrorizing the house. It’s Sunday evening, and you’ve had it. You don’t want to be around them anymore.

  4. You’re an athlete in the “grind” of the season. Your body is banged up. You’re mentally tired. It’s been a challenging season. You don’t want to keep doing the little things every day to improve.

These are all golden opportunities.

If you choose to see them that way.

The look when you realize a Golden Opportunity has arrived :)

How do you seize golden opportunities?

I thought about this on a long training run recently.

There are three key steps:

1. Recognize the moment

You have to recognize when a golden opportunity arrives. Common signs: you’re tired, frustrated or feeling some other emotion overtaking you. Being able to stop and say, “This is a golden opportunity right now” is Step 1.

2. Slow it down

The natural human response in these moments is to rush through them. We want them to be over. Slowing your mind down helps. Take some breaths. Just “sit” in the moment and not bulldoze through it. That creates the space required for the next step.

3. Be deliberate

Once you recognize the moment and slow down, you must be deliberate in your words and actions that follow. Do your words help or hurt? Are your actions productive? Can you control your emotions? This is the hardest part and determines if you seize the “golden opportunity” or not.

So, there I was in the Georgia woods.

Tired, hurting, ready for a hot shower and bed.

“Here’s a golden opportunity,” I said. “This is what you came here for. Take advantage.”

I took some deep breaths and looked around.

It was stunningly beautiful. I was sharing this experience with some awesome people. Others were suffering much more than I was.

“What would help this situation right now?” I thought.

I turned my focus to encouraging others.

Instead of wallowing in my own pity, I tried to pick others up in their low moments.

Eventually, I was no longer thinking about how I felt.

The woods now dark, we continued on through the night.

I was where I wanted to be.

The beautiful Georgia woods prior to sunset.

In Summary

“Golden Opportunities” are moments when you don’t feel like continuing on, but continuing on is what’s right and required.

They’re opportunities for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.

We have these opportunities, large and small, every day.

Practice recognizing them, and choose to embrace them.

You’ll become a better and more capable human being.

A Quick Thank You

I started writing The Process in September 2022.

We’re now 54 issues in, and there are 21,000+ of you in this community.

I’m extremely grateful.

Writing The Process is my favorite part of my “work.”

I have no plans to sell this newsletter. My timeline for writing it is indefinite. My hope is to impact millions of lives through The Process in some small way in the years to come.

None of that is possible without you all.

This is our newsletter, not mine.

As we end 2023, I wanted to say thank you.

For reading, for replying to emails and sharing your feedback, for sharing The Process with others, for giving me the opportunity to serve you with my writing.

God bless you and your families, and have a wonderful New Year.



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See you next Sunday.