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[ Also see Accident Adventure Chance Choice Circumstance Decision Destiny Environment Expediency Fate Fortune Impossibility Life Luck Temptation Time ]

A thousand yeasr a poor man watched
  Before the gate of Paradise:
    But while one little nap he snatched,
      It oped and shut. Ah! was he wise?
      - William R. Alger,
        Oriental Poetry--Swift Opportunity

Opportunities do not come with their values stamped upon them. Everyone must be challenged. A day dawns, quite like other days; in it a single hour comes, quite like other hours; but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us. To face every opportunity of life thoughtfully and ask its meaning bravely and earnestly, is the only way to meet the supreme opportunities when they come, whether open-faced or disguised.
      - Maltbie Davenport Babcock

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
      - Francis Bacon

There is no greater wisdom than well to time the beginning and outsets of things.
      - Francis Bacon

There is an hour in each man's life appointed
  To make his happiness, if then he seize it.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Custom of the Country
         (act II, sc. 3, l. 85)

When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
      - Alexander Graham Bell

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
      - Milton Berle

Observe the opportunity.
      - Bible, Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha)
         (ch. IV, v. 20)

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.
      - Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw)

This could but have happened once,
  And we missed it, lost it forever.
      - Robert Browning, Youth and Art (XVII)

The public man needs but one patron, namely, the lucky moment.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

He that will not when he may,
  When he will he shall have nay.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
         (pt. III, sect. 2, mem. 5, subs. 5),

You will never "find" time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.
      - Charles Buxton

A word spoken in season, at the right moment; is the mother of ages.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Let nothing pass which will advantage you;
  Hairy in front, Occasion's bald behind.
    [Lat., Rem tibi quam nosces aptam dimittere noli;
      Fronte capillata, post est occasio calva.]
      - Dionysius Cato, Disticha de Moribus (II)

Do not suppose opportunity will knock twice at your door.
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

The best men are not those who have waited for chances, but who have taken them,--besieged the chance, conquered the chance, and made the chance their servitor.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

There is a nick in Fortune's restless wheel
  For each man's good.
      - George Chapman, Bussy d'Ambois

Myself and the lucky moment.
      - Charles V

The sure way to miss success is to miss the opportunity.
      - Philarete Chasles (Victor Euphemion Chasles)

Holding occasion by the hand,
  Not over nice 'twixt weed and flower,
    Waiving what none can understand,
      I make mine hour.
      - John Vance Cheney, This My Life

Ring the bells that still can ring.
  Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack in everything.
      That's how the light gets in.
      - Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.
      - Jeremy Collier

That policy that can strike only while the iron is hot will be overcome by that perseverance which, like Cromwell's, can make the iron hot by striking; and he that can only rule the storm must yield to him who can both raise and rule it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Who lets slip fortune, her shall never find:
  Occasion once past by, is bald behind.
      - Abraham Cowley, Pyramus and Thisbe (XV)

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