Optimizing Life's Chances

Non-Fiction - Self Help
461 Pages
Reviewed on 02/14/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

In "Opportunity: Optimizing Life's Chances", Donald Morris has written a scholarly work about how the ordinary person misses multiple opportunities for advancement or knowledge simply because he or she cannot recognize the true signs of opportunity. The opportunity model is first explained. The elements of opportunity include: time constraint in which opportunities exist, the sacrifice the person will need to make in order to take advantage of the opportunity, the risks involved in the opportunity, the catalyst or trigger and lastly, the possibility of regret or remorse for having taken the opportunity - or not. All of these factors are then set in the framework of the person's overall view of his or his world. The explanations in general are intended to assist the reader in recognizing what the author calls "high-end opportunities." These are opportunities which alter the present and shape the future. The author further contends that if one is trained to recognize opportunities in a timely fashion, one can then recognize rich and productive opportunities while dismissing the trivial, short-lived opportunity which does not move the individual forward.

I think the parts I valued most in the book were the boxed quotes of familiar philosophers throughout the ages. Another important section deals with self-control and self-regulation as a critical component of recognizing and taking advantage of opportunity. There is another section on 'Stumbling Blocks, Pit Falls and Blind Spots' which may assist those who have repeatedly come upon defeat when attempting to move forward. In that section, the author says that being able to predict the behavior of others may assist the individual to predict the success of any given opportunity. This is a scholarly book which would be useful in classes of business, social sciences and philosophy.