The Anatomy of Trapportunity

A trapportunity is a trap masquerading as an opportunity. It is not a real word. It was coined by the CSD Africa research team during the development of the Uptimetrics® training program. We were looking for a label for this phenomenon that even though so common, was difficult to define. What you cannot define is difficult to fix and our intention was to find solutions to the problem.


Clearly the phenomenon is a two part entity with each component quite self -sufficient. A trap can stand on its own (or can it?) much like an opportunity can stand on its own. But we see in practice that traps need the image of an opportunity (evil needs to mimic good). A mouse trap needs the aroma of meat much like the hook needs the covering of bait. No fish wants to sallow cold steel of course. So that one must come to the terms with the expression; not all that glitters is Gold.


With this understanding then, everything must be checked for substance regardless of how good they look. This is also the exact story of fakes and originals. The need for due diligence then is well placed as we will find that things very often must go through a certain process in order to be authentic. It is nature’s way. As soon as we detect the need to skip processes or laid down procedures that are designed to check trapportunities, red flags must be raised. For eveil by its very nature is incapable of doing the right thing. It must deceive. What trapportunity really does is to derail a goal, slow it down by misleading andmany are they who have suffered major setbacks that have impacted negatively on their performance.


Some traps are so bad they will hold you forever. You feel like you are in a spiders web; helpless as you are being drained of your very essence. They come in different forms and shapes too. Sometimes it’s a person, other times it’s a job. It could even be a car. Frankly it can be anything that takes you of your course. Whiles it may be possible to get out of literally any trapportunity, the magnitude of effort often required for the recovery process can be painfully expensive and is best spent on the goal itself.


Trapportunties can occur on both macro and macro levels causing problems for your occupational and life performance alike. As we have seen, the micro things determine the outcomes of the macro things. So that if you suffer from trapportunituiesin your daily activity, it will accumulate into a major setback in your quest to maximize your larger existence. This is then is how trapportunities can affect performance. The easiest way to avoid trapportunities is to stick to the procedure and always let systems run their course. Easy short cuts and superficial evaluation of things will not allow you to see beyond the bait and you will become the hook’s victim.


A person with a great future ahead of him who by some action based on what seems like an opportunity ends up in prison for the rest of their life has fallen for a trapportunity. There is a clear difference between trapportunity and self sabotage of course but I shall save that discussion for another post. In the meantime look out for the trapportunities, they are all around you. Joseph faced one in Portipher’s wife but luckily, knew what to do.

About Markus Kennedy Katey

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