Presumption Can Be The Thief Of Opportunity, Or…

"Gordon Bryan", "Ailsa Craig",
Written by gordino

The quote I’m looking at this time around is what I like to think of as a little expansion on an all time classic…

Presumption can be the thief of opportunity, or the gateway to it. You get to decide.

Of course the all time classic it brings to mind is Henry Ford’s ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.’

So, if Ford’s quote is such a classic, why would I feel the need to expand on it?

Ah, that’s a good question – I’m glad you asked..!

Well, it’s the picture that brought the idea along. It’s a picture looking at Ailsa Craig in the background, off the West Coast of Scotland, and if you’ve heard of the Winter Olympic sport of curling, you might be interested to know that all the curling stones used are made from granite taken from Ailsa Craig.

I took it during a little trip I decided to take up there to see the rock, (and go over to it as well!)

Now, looking at the picture, imagine if, way back in the past you were wondering about the possibilities over on that rock. To take advantage of any opportunity, you’d have to get over to it first.

You might look at the view and see the rocks in the way, and therefore presume that you couldn’t possibly do it. Or, you might look over to the left of the view, and see the gaps in the rocks, and therefore presume you *could* do it!

It’s the same opportunity, that hasn’t changed, but what has changed is the presumption, and it’s changed everything when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunity.

Ok, ok, so that’s why I came up with the idea, but let’s move away from big old granite rocks in the sea, and look at *your* opportunities.

"Gordon Bryan", "Ailsa Craig",

Actually, to start off with, you might be reading this thinking that you don’t have any opportunities, and that would be wrong, because opportunity is all around us. If you can read this, then you have access to the internet and a level of education that offers you the chance to do wondrous things.

So, it could be that it’s not the presumption of your ability to take opportunity that’s the problem, it’s your presumption about the lack of opportunity itself in the first place!

This concept of presumption is such a key one, it’s the bedrock of self improvement and personal responsibility, it’s why I call ‘attitude’ one of the 4 magic words beginning with ‘A’!

For this article though, let’s continue with the idea of looking at what happens when you *do* see an opportunity…

You might think you won’t take it because you’re not good enough, you’ll fail, people will laugh at you. Maybe you’ll take on *other* people’s presumptions about you as real, and let them override your own presumptions about yourself! (That might sound silly, but believe me, it’s so common that it’s a real factor in people not fulfilling their potential)

As a result, you might take no action, get no results, and the opportunity passes you by.


You might presume that you can do it, even if it’s difficult, you might presume that if you’re not good enough you’ll learn and work at it. You might presume that while failure is a possibility, so is success. You might take another quote to heart, that of Thomas Edison, who said that he hadn’t failed, he had just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. You might presume that if others laugh at you, that’s *their* look out.

If you go down the road of that set of presumptions, you start to take action, you’ll start to move forward, getting results, adjusting as you go, and not only does opportunity move closer towards you, you start to *absorb* it.

The gateway of opportunity opens up to you, and as you go through you’ll find things move on the other side. Habit and momentum kicks in, you find yourself surrounded by people who can help you, and further opportunities come your way. All because you presumed that ‘you could.’

Sounds exciting? Good, because it *is* exciting!
Sound too simple? Well, while the concept is simple, I understand that taking it on in real life is not always simple.

I understand that the negative presumptions can be deeply ingrained, built up over many, many years. I understand that, yes, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that a presumption is just that, a presumption…

It’s a use of energy to fire up the imagination to project an outcome into the future. The positive outcome presumption is still no more than a projection of the imagination, there are no guarantees, but if we’re going to presume, why not presume the best?

Why not presume that things will fall our way once we take action. We can’t be absolutely sure of the outcome if we do take action, but that’s true in life all over. What we can be sure of though, is that if we presume the negative to a point where we take no action, the results will be in line with no action, and in the vast majority of cases, that means no results.

I think Henry Ford had it right, and I happen to like the expansion I’ve put on it – the idea of presumption being a thief of opportunity might be language a touch too flowery for Ford’s liking, but I like the emotion it brings, because when it comes down to it, it’s emotions and passions that I don’t want to see people let slip by simply because they choose to presume in the negative.

It doesn’t have to be like that. The opportunity will be there either way, and as I said right at the start, the choice is up to you – you get to decide!

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think as ever – do leave a comment!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If you’d like to find out more on taking advantage of opportunity, pop over and grab my free 8 step goal achievement formula!

Do leave a comment!

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  • Hey Gordon,
    I too see things as pereptual. It’s like you said, Look at the mountain and what do you see-One would see the ability to do it whilst another could look and the inability to do it. I often look for opportunity in life even if I can’t see it at the time.

    Just being willing to want opportunity I think is key.
    I love Newton’s quote;”For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. My father uttered this many times in my life and I really didn’t care to understand what he was saying. Now I understand it on many levels and think how wonderful Newton!

    There is definitely the positive and negative aspects in all of life and I love that you have conveyed it here. Great post Gordon-Jennifer

    • Thanks Jennifer!
      Yes, Newton got it right, and while it’s clearly the case that it’s true with taking action, it’s also true when it comes to what we think, what we believe to be possible, because that in turn affects our actions.
      That was a lovely summer’s day, and I was pleased to be able to use the photo to make the point!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Cheers, Gordon