Ob portum: The Root of Opportunity

Kevin Mahoney

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#1
Have you ever wondered where the root of the word opportunity comes from? After a little research online, I came across a 2014 blog by Raquel Silva that sums up the root of the word quite well. “Ob portum is a latin expression which has several interpretations associated, including the figurative representation of a favourable wind that would take ships to a (good) harbor; a well-timed wind that blows opportunity.”

The picture presented here of opportunity is that of a captain and crew awaiting the right conditions to bring their ship to port. Thus, “Ob portum”. Due to my professional experience, I am familiar with the workings of large vessels. These ships do not simply arrive at their destinations and offload their cargo. Timing and planning are crucial. Each port is different and factors of tide, wind, and weather must align before a vessel can safely reach its destination. With this in mind, the idea of opportunity shifts from “being in the right place, at the right time” to “being prepared to act with skill and knowledge, when conditions are favorable to success”.

I believe many people are mistakenly “waiting for their ships to come in.” The truth is that it never will, if they have not prepared themselves beforehand with skill and knowledge. While the timing of opportunity may not be up to us, our preparation is.

Do you tend to see opportunity in relation to your preparedness or luck? Does the nature of opportunity regarding preparation inspire you or discourage you?

Silva, R. (February ,2014). Ob portum: an opportune wind? Retrieved from https://prezi.com/r05lsy_v659/ob-portum-an-opportune-wind/
 
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#4
...Do you tend to see opportunity in relation to your preparedness or luck? ...
Thanks for thread. Great story about origin of the word opportunity. I will refer my friends at the local maritime museum about it (a good trivia question).

There is a saying that defines 'good luck', when preparation meets opportunity.