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Life Lesson #4: Grab Your Opportunities


My parents believed in the security of a good education. They grew up in a very uncertain post WW2 world and wanted to give their children the security they never had. They believed good tertiary qualifications means “you will always have something to fall back on”. Security is a basic human need, however, ironically, I have learnt that security is not found in the single-minded pursuit of security in and of itself, but rather in the pursuit of opportunities. The reason is that, as Mark Twain proclaimed, “There is no (true) security in life, only opportunity”. 

COVID-19 has once again showed how uncertain the world is and how little security there really are. 

It boils down to whether you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset is less adaptable than people with a growth mindset. People who pursue security tend to have fixed mindsets, while those who pursue opportunities tend to have growth mindsets. In uncertain times, a growth mindset, a mindset that always  looks for opportunities, is your best bet. Ironically, it leads to more security in the long run. To survive and flourish in this uncertain world you need to be resilient, adaptable and flexible. You need to have a growth mindset. You need to look for opportunities and when you find them, you need to grab them. You only have one life, make it count. 

The entrepreneurs and innovators who changed the world did not pursue security. They looked and found opportunities. 

Research has shown that one of the biggest regrets people at the end of their careers have is the fact that they did not grab their opportunities. They chose security over opportunity. They took too few risks. 

I studied Law and believed I had a calling to serve the legal profession, however, if I had a fixed mindset I would have missed out on several wonderful opportunities in business. This includes two successful start-ups (Outsurance and MiWay) and the turn-around of Channel Life. I am getting closer to the end of my career and I am extremely grateful to say I have no regrets. 

Of course, my parents were right about the value of a proper education, however, the value of it lies not in the security it brings, but in the fact that it opens opportunities. You need to identify the opportunities and grab them with both hands. Therein lies your security.. 

Have a wonderful day. 

Stay blessed,
René Otto, CEO: MiWay Insurance Ltd


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