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Book Review: Opportunity, By Donald Morris

Have you major life changing missed opportunities in your life?  Have you regretted missing some opportunities that you knew at the time you should perhaps try for? We all seem to have missed opportunities.  That is something that happens to all of us, whether we like it or not. And most of us think that opportunities are a simple matter—however as Dr. Morris argues nothing is further from the case.


     Opportunity is individual and personal.  What is a real opportunity for someone is not much of an opportunity for someone else. There is nothing generic about opportunity.  They are subjective and they need to be moulded to individual person in order for them to really matter. This is why there are so many stumbling blocks, pit falls and blind spots in individual opportunities.  For instance, how an individual poses or frames questions when looking for the solution to a problem affects the kind of answers the person acknowledge. Also, the way a person frames an opportunity also affects the kind of opportunities that the person will take and which ones she will walk away from and possibly experience remorse later.


     Most people believe that opportunities are straightforward and not problematic—one either thinks that an opportunity is a good one or not. But as Dr. Morris argues in this book, the concept of opportunity shows that a problem exists with recognizing and exploiting opportunity, allowing us to search for and point to the specific reasons for this difficulty. Our recognition of opportunity is affected by the problems that we face, our notion of sacrifice, how we evaluate risk, how we perceive time, what conditions we believe will improve our life, and the techniques to predict our future, just to name a few.  These underlying issues can cast a haze over our judgments and adversely affect our decisions with respect to opportunity. In spite of our self-confirmed ability to recognize opportunities, we will miss many important opportunities in our lives. Some people will miss more than others.


     I found Dr. Morris’ book fascinating and intriguing.  Being a philosopher, I really enjoyed the analysis of the concept of opportunity in this book. It is a nontechnical read but it is a book to dissect and read slowly. Only then will we take the time to decide whether or not certain opportunities are good for us.


First Reviewed on Blogcritics.

Reviewed by:  Irene S. Roth

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