Opportunity: Optimizing Life's Chances
Donald Morris, 2006 - 461 pages
Can you recognize an opportunity when it comes your way? Even though the concept seems fairly basic, most people harbor regrets about missed opportunities that in retrospect might have significantly improved their lives. This book will give you the critical tools to sort through the complexities that often obscure the perception of an opportunity and help you take full advantage of what author Donald Morris calls "high-end opportunities" — pivotal situations that can change your life for the better.
Morris begins by developing a model of opportunity in the abstract, analyzing its elements and the contexts and frameworks that affect our recognition of opportunities. Drawing from a wide range of applications, including investing, business, law, criminology, gambling, and even religion, he shows how opportunities can be defined in various contexts. He also examines highly undesirable situations, where opportunity is lacking, such as poverty and historical instances of slavery, to further illustrate, by way of contrast, the defining characteristics of opportunity.
How does a significant opportunity differ from a simple option? How does taking advantage of opportunities differ from being an opportunist? Does our ability to predict the future affect our opportunities? What do we mean by equality of opportunity? By addressing these and other probing questions, Morris shows how to develop more critical perceptions of real opportunities.
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The matrix of opportunitythe context elements and framework
Putting it all togetherRobinson Crusoe
Questioning your understanding
Riskgambling without a full deck
Catalystcriminology and opportunity
Regret or remorse
Distortions in our organization of the pastextra meaning
Prediction and opportunity
Gamblingthe source of statistical studies of probability
Marketingtechnology product and industry life cycles
Business strategy and SWOT analysis
Equality of opportunity
The poverty linerelative and absolute measures of poverty
Camus The Stranger and the lack of hope
Human naturepredicting conduct
Induction and superstition
The great chain of being
The hierarchy in 1300Dantes Paradise
Keplers death knell for circular assumptions
The other shoethe new emphasis on methodFrancis Bacon
ability action adaptation Albert Bandura Amos Tversky Aristotle assumptions basic behavior Behavioral Finance believe Bell Curve better Books Calvin Cambridge catalyst causes chance chapter choice Christian concept condition context cost crime criminal culture of poverty Daniel Kahneman Dante decision determined Divine Divine Comedy economic effect equal opportunity example experience explain external Faust feel gambling game theory George Bernard Shaw gifts God's hell hierarchy high-end opportunities Ibid improve individual inductive involves J. W. von Goethe John learned helplessness lives means moral nity oppor options outcome past percent person Philosophy poor prayer predicting the future present problem produce question reason recognizing opportunity religion result risk Robinson Crusoe sacrifice salvation seeking Self-Efficacy Seneca sense situation slaves social society solution someone souls specific success talents things tion tradition trans tunity Understanding Poverty worldview York