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Carpe Diem With These 16 Quotes About Seizing Opportunity

“Some people never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” — so goes a popular phrase often attributed to the playwright George Bernard Shaw. It’s true: We tend to miss out on opportunities more frequently than we realize or would like to admit. Sometimes we fail to spot the chance that’s laid before us, or we’re simply too busy focusing on other things. And other times we allow opportunities to pass us by simply because pursuing them seems like too much effort, which may sound silly but is understandable in the mayhem of everyday life.

When we do take the chances presented to us, a whole world of possibilities opens. So although it’s often easier to say “no,” to turn down an offer or an invitation, it’s always worth taking that extra moment to consider saying “yes” when an opportunity arises. Here are 16 quotes about doing exactly that, from authors, politicians, entrepreneurs and more.

There is a tide in the affairs of men / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune … On such a full sea are we now afloat, / And we must take the current when it serves, / Or lose our ventures.
William Shakespeare

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What is opportunity to the man who can’t use it? An unfecundated egg, which the waves of time wash away into nonentity.
George Eliot

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To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.
Samuel Johnson

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To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.
Benjamin Franklin

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Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.
Orison Swett Marden

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I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!
Madam C. J. Walker

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Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity.
George Samuel Clason

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I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it. Every one has bad breaks, but every one also has opportunities. The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.
Samuel Goldwyn

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Sometimes opportunities float right past your nose. Work hard, apply yourself, and be ready. When an opportunity comes you can grab it.
Julie Andrews

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No one ever became a success without taking chances … One must be able to recognize the moment and seize it without delay.
Estée Lauder

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If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes — then learn how to do it later!
Richard Branson

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Expect change. Analyze the landscape. Take the opportunities. Stop being the chess piece; become the player. It’s your move.
Tony Robbins

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I believe in destiny. But I also believe that you can’t just sit back and let destiny happen. A lot of times, an opportunity might fall into your lap, but you have to be ready for that opportunity. You can’t sit there waiting on it.
Spike Lee

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Sometimes the course of our lives depends on what we do or don't do in a few seconds, a heartbeat, when we either seize the opportunity, or just miss it. Miss the moment and you never get a chance again.
Aidan Chambers

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Feeling confident — or pretending that you feel confident — is necessary to reach for opportunities. It's a cliche, but opportunities are rarely offered; they're seized.
Sheryl Sandberg

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People don't take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.
Michelle Zatlyn

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Featured image credit: Pixelvario/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Tony Dunnell
Tony is an English writer of non-fiction and fiction living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.
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