sailing boat

**Warning – serious word geekery to follow**

If you work in new business you hear the word opportunity a lot. Which got me thinking about where it comes from, so I did some research on it.

Opportunity comes from the Latin opportunus meaning fitting, convenient, or at the right time. But that is based on an old saying "ob portum veniens", which is a nautical term – being ahead of the wind to get to harbour. It is all about pragmatic ease.

This really resonated in terms of the current economy, strong headwinds and a storm that can be navigated successfully for those in the right position.

This led me to optimism, which despite being similar comes from the Latin optimus, which is the best possible outcome. It is idealism.

I'm loving the metaphor of getting the ship to harbour, especially when there is a storm brewing. Its something a lot of business leaders feel. But is the best strategy found in pragmatism or idealism?

If pushed I'd go for pragmatism, what works for now and gets results. Again, you may say that holding firm for the ideal outcome will yield greater long term reward. Or probably it is a blend of both?

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