Chapter 5: Questions: Exposing Your Way from Ignorance to Innocence
But the journalist said, “It still remains a mystery. Nobody wants to miss an opportunity, but people go on missing. So tell me just in a little detail how you manage - because people become aware of an opportunity only when it has gone, but by that time it is too late.”
Henry Ford said, “The way not to miss an opportunity is just to keep jumping. So whenever it comes, it doesn’t matter, you will jump and ride on it. Don’t stand and wait; otherwise you will get engaged in other thoughts and other things.
“I keep on jumping. Let the opportunity come whenever it comes - I am not going to miss it.”
In a London museum there is a beautiful painting titled Opportunity. A very strange painting. When for the first time, a century ago, it was acquired by the museum, the painter himself was alive and he was present there for the opening ceremony. The museum had asked him to be there to explain it to people - because it is a beautiful painting but a little difficult, a little strange.
There is the face of a man, but you have never come across such a face: all the hairs are growing not on the head but on the forehead, and the head is clean-shaven. And the title is Opportunity.
“What kind of man.? Where have you found this man?”
He said, “This is the opportunity. When it comes you cannot see it, because the face is covered with hair. When it is just passing by, you cannot see it because the face is covered and by the time you recognize it and say, ‘Jesus!’ your hand slips because the head is clean-shaven. It has gone. And no moment comes back; once gone, it is gone forever.”
You are afraid of missing the train. Whether you are afraid or not, everybody is missing the train. It is good that you are afraid, because that may help you to understand why you are missing.
You are not in the moment. You are either in the past or in the future - both are non-existent. Neither can you do anything with the past, nor can you do anything with the future. All that you can do is with the present, and the present is such a small, split second that if you are engaged somewhere else, it simply slips by and you have missed the train.
Learn to be in the present. Withdraw your energy from the past. Don’t waste your time in memories; what is gone is gone - say good-bye to it and close the chapter. What has not come yet has not come yet; don’t unnecessarily waste your time and energy in imagination, because no imagination is ever fulfilled. It is because of this that the proverb exists in every language: “Man proposes, and God disposes” - because you imagine a certain thing in the future, and it is never so.