On the ladder to success, it’s awfully tempting to take every great opportunity we’re given. It’s only natural to want to make the very best of them. All of them.
The problem with this kind of opportunism is that in a very short time, you can find yourself overloaded and spread too thin. I’m talking about literally overloaded, in terms of the shear amount of time devoted to different projects and priorities.
You might find that your mind is also overloaded. With too many parallel initiatives, it can be difficult to focus and think critically about them. They all suffer individually because of the mental weight of the collective.
But opportunism also has another, even higher, price. The opportunity cost of taking every great opportunity that comes along, is that you will soon be confronted with one you simply cannot take because you are overcommitted. And it may be the one opportunity that could have meant the most to your career or life goals.
So next time you are presented with an opportunity, think carefully about your other obligations before jumping in and saying “yes.” Although it’s difficult, sometimes the most valuable opportunities are the ones we said no to.