This is a Maxim that would seem to be self-evident. But is it about recognizing when you have had good fortune or is it about recognizing opportunities? I hold that it is a little of both. If we do not take the time to recognize opportunity then we cannot follow the Maxim that tells us to “Know your opportunity” and often will have good fortune pass us by.
There are people who make their livings as ‘fortune-tellers’ because people do not want to understand that we create our own fortunes day-by-day. They are different from oracles in that they often tell us what they think we want to hear instead of what is most likely to happen based on our actions. They do not remind us that “Fortune favors the prepared” but rather tell us that we will have good fortune regardless of our deeds.
Fortune is more than just ‘luck’ and this Maxim does not just refer to good fortune, but also to bad fortune. If we know when we have had bad fortune we can take steps to ensure a change for the better. Also, if we know when we have had good fortune we can then take measures to ensure that it continues. This is because fortune is (at least) partially the results of our efforts and partially the result of random factors. We can control our efforts and because of this need to be watchful about the results – about our fortunes.