Where’s the Treasure?

One skill I had to learn as an entrepreneur was to invest in real opportunities, not dead ends. This can include opportunities for financial gain, but it can also include personal and professional growth opportunities, educational opportunities, creative opportunities, social opportunities, adventure opportunities, travel opportunities, and more.

Where there’s a genuine opportunity, there’s a decent chance of a significant payoff if you invest some time and energy.

One trap I see many people falling into is that they invest in predictable dead ends instead of real opportunities. They invest where there are no rainbows or pots of gold, which means they don’t really invest at all – they spend time instead.

This world presents a ridiculous abundance of interesting opportunities with plenty of delicious prizes, so why invest when the only payoff is that you cover your expenses? Where’s the excitement in doing that each day? Why even bother showing up for such a low, fixed reward?

Opportunity blindness is a real issue for some people. Many have become so accustomed to living with uninspired, repetitive cycles that they don’t realize that isn’t the only lifestyle option available. They could instead be living like treasure hunters, pursuing one fascinating opportunity after another and discovering lots of real treasure along the way.

Don’t let life beat you down into settling for peanuts when this world is full of fun treasures to discover. Don’t waste your time grinding yourself into dead ends that offer no treasure.

Consider your current career path or business. Name the treasure you’re currently pursuing on that path. Where’s the pot of gold? Say it out loud.

Then notice how you feel about that prize. Does it excite you? Do you think, Wow… it would be so awesome to get there?

If you struggle to name the treasure, or if you struggle to summon any excitement for it, what’s the point of investing in that path any longer? Why are you even bothering to show up? How did your standards fall so low as to confuse a paycheck with a pot of gold? Who taught you that? Someone else who fell into this same trap perhaps?

A healthy treasure is rich in compound gains – it may include financial gains, relationship gains, creative gains, loads of fun, and more. The potential payoff ought to be high enough to generate some desire within you. A juicy prize ahead gets your mouth watering to go seize it. Where’s the lust? Are you feeling it?

Are you pursuing a lusty treasure that makes your eyes open wider and your jaw drop when you focus on it? If so that’s wonderful – I hope you succeed in reaping those rewards soon. But if not, then for goodness sake’s stop investing where there is no meaningful treasure that excites you. Until you do that, you probably won’t even see any treasure. Treasure doesn’t usually present itself to people who aren’t even looking for it.

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Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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