"That is one of the tricks of OPPORTUNITY, it has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of MISFORTUNE, or TEMPORARY DEFEAT. Perhaps this is why so many FAIL TO RECOGNIZE OPPORTUNITY."
This quote (published in 1937) describes why I have learned to appreciate setbacks—it brings opportunity. I’ve had a few curve balls thrown at me in the past few years. They didn’t feel so great in the moment, but they forced me to think more broadly, consider other angles, and to come up with other options I otherwise would not have pursued. While we all have our destinies, the fun comes in how we get there and what we learn along the way.
No, I don’t mean the the Charlie Sheen kind of winning…
It’s been too long since I posted, so today will be a two-fer, starting with this one. A friend of mine reminded me of something I said a while back: You are not winning if you allow a less-than-ideal situation at work get the better of you. People usually get frustrated and quit. While that is a perfectly natural response, it is also creates a notch on your proverbial belt of things you gave up on in your career. It becomes a memory of a failure that you carry with you going forward, perhaps even as a regret. Now I am not typically the type that sees things in adversarial terms, but when it comes to letting things get you down, I do see winning and losing. Quitting before you make lemonade out of lemons is losing. Take a bad situation, get the best thing out of it. Then you can quit on top, and leave the situation on your own terms. If you quit before you learn something, contribute something, positively affect something, then…you wasted your time, and that’s on you. What will be your legacy when you move on? If you feel like you’re not sure how much more you can take of it, then that tells you how urgently you need to make that lemonade happen. There are going to be things out of your control. No matter how dire the situation, there is always something positive within your power that you can do. If this applies to you, hang in there, keep your eye on the prize, and get busy! YOU CAN BE A WINNER!
Check out this pretty powerful video on Vimeo.
Follow Your Dreams.
This has been said by many before, but shockingly few follow its advice. Those who do what they love have a certain peace about them. I’ve asked the few friends or family I consider living their dream jobs, and they confirm: they never felt like their jobs were “work”, and they never did it “for the money”, but always had enough. I’m about to join their ranks. :)
Thankfully there are lots of stories out there of how individuals made courageous choices in their lives in the pursuit of happiness. I myself have the tendency to ask myself once in a while whether I continue to be on the right track, what I’m trying to achieve, and why. It doesn’t mean I always have the answers, but if “our worlds are formed by the questions we ask” (my favorite quote from David Cooperrider AGAIN), then the world where these questions are asked is the world I want to be in.
At a recent conference I attended, I as an audience member asked the executives on the plenary panel what it meant to “get there” and once they “got there”, what they felt they still needed to learn. To be honest, I was unsatisfied with their lack of answers here. It led me to think that they hadn’t thought about it. I asked because so many people (me included) spend so much time, energy and focus on the journey (whether it’s career goals or other) that they don’t know what to do once they get there, or what it means for their identity. Good reasons to stay reflective, I think.
Back to this link—it’s not this particular story that strikes me—in fact, there are probably better ones out there. However, it’s the quote that I particularly find inspiring: ”I know a lot of you are looking for your first big break. Others are assistants trying to climb one more step up that infinite ladder. During this journey…work towards what you love. Try not to be tempted by jobs that won’t get you there.” Work towards what you love….great stuff!
A place to share interesting concepts that will inspire, spread, and/or apply new ideas. This page is dedicated to sharing my twitter feed, announcements, and blog posts.