Unexpected Opportunities – Sunday Surgical Scrub –  18 Dec 2016


“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about opportunities and how to catch unexpected prospects. I believe that unexpected opportunities are events that need to be created. Expecting the unexpected, when it comes to opportunity and progress, rarely works. One is best guided by a proactive nature to facilitate and cultivate these opportunities. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” (Milton Berle). As this fitting quote so nicely summarizes, opportunities require active participation. You need to build a bridge to get to the opportunity you seek.

“Expecting the unexpected rarely works.

Opportunities require active participation.”

But how do you create opportunities or uncover unexpected ones? There are three strategies you can consistently use to increase your yield on opportunities. First, change something. “Change brings opportunity” (Nido Qubein). Change a habit, change a routine, change a relationship, change the way you go about completing some task. Change is a powerful conduit for opportunities and can greatly help your ability to improve processes and pain points. At the very least, committing to changing a routine or practice allows for reflection on subtleties and nuances you may not have been previously aware of.

“Change is a powerful conduit for opportunities.”

Second, don’t be afraid to fail. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” (Henry Ford). On a previous Sunday Surgical Scrub, I averred the need to fail and the benefits inherent is this necessary stage of growth (you can find the post here). Failure is the most common missed opportunity I see. Whether it is a failed drug trial or a contract not landed, these “failure” events usually possess unexpected opportunities but, as stated above, they require active consideration and proactive pursuit to materialize any merit or substance.

“Failures usually possess unexpected opportunities but require active consideration and proactive pursuit.”

Third, prepare for all possible outcomes. Pilots routinely use situational analysis to algorithmically assess all possible outcomes in flight scenarios. This allows pilots to be prepared for all situations. We can extrapolate this situational awareness to our personal and professional lives. Be prepared for the ideal outcome, the worst-case scenario, and all possible eventualities and the unexpected becomes opportunity.

“Be prepared for the ideal outcome, the worst-case scenario, and all possible eventualities and the unexpected becomes opportunity.”

MEDICINE & MACULA: One of our surgical techniques for endophthalmitis was published earlier this week. The study entitled, Five-Port Combined Limbal and Pars Plana Vitrectomy for Infectious Endophthalmitis, was published in Case Reports in Ophthalmology (2016;7:289–291) and centers on how acute infectious endophthalmitis can be challenging due to severe inflammation. In it, we describe a surgical technique combining limbal based vitrectomy and pars plana vitrectomy to manage acute infectious endophthalmitis. You can find the study here.



GRATIS: “There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.” -Douglas MacArthur


My best to you,

David Almeida


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