When the great library of Alexandria burned, one book was saved. It was not a valuable book; and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. Between its pages he found something very interesting indeed. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the “Touchstone”!
The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing pebbles.
When he felt a pebble that was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this but none of them was the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold – Throw it into the sea. Pick up another.
The days stretched into weeks. One day, however, about mid-afternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. He threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done. He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.
So it is with opportunity. Unless we are vigilant, it’s easy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is in hand and it’s just as easy to throw it away.
~ Author Unknown
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
~ Thomas Edison