Being present to opportunities is the essence of being able to capture our one shots – being present to the choices that you may not have previously been aware of.

Waking up to these moments offers a greater sense of agency, allowing you to choose a new path that is in alignment with your goals rather than an old habitual path that might take you further away from your dreams.

Not everyone gets a shot at a new career after twenty years in the last. I had such an opportunity.

It was my one shot.

Choosing a familiar, known path was an option. Making a complete career change felt like the better one for me.

It certainly hasn’t been for the faint of heart. Do I know if I will be successful? The verdict is still out. There is too much uncertainty to realistically call it at this point.

For me, it is less about whether I will be successful, and more about whether I will regret not having tried.

The question that I ask myself is will this be worth having failed at it?

Focusing on what feels like the right thing to do, the right cause, even if it means possible failure, takes a bit more courage. But when you are aligned with what some researchers call an “ultimate concern” –a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do – you find your grit.

Grit is holding steadfast to your goal, even when you fall down. Even when you screw up. Even when progress toward that goal is halting or slow. – Angela Duckworth

Olympians find this ultimate concern and grit in taking their one shots every day.

One shots may come in the form of a seismic career shifts, but most one shots come in the form of small moment-to-moment iterative shots, or choices.

And when pursuing a dream or goal, especially when attached or when our self-worth is identified with achieving the goal, it can cloud our discernment to know when our motivation to achieve the goal is no longer serving us.

“ … the Olympic goal dwarfs the sometimes imperceptible day-to-day improvements that are necessary to get there.” – Jeremy Wotherspoon

Staying present to our many imperceptible “one shots” is the difference between capturing the moment or just letting it slip away.

We’ve got one life to live.