Believe and Succeed
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
One of the big challenges in life is to recognize when you perceive that you have “failed”, and then to make something good come out of that.
When we allow ourselves self-pity for too long, we ultimately start feeling not only like a failure — but also like a victim.
The key is to acknowledge that your hopes did not pan out — but that this experience means that you are meant for something different, and usually something better.
I had an a-ha moment watching one of the two Oprah shows on The Secret, wherein Oprah said something along the lines of, “If you’re fired, you should thank them … because that just means you weren’t meant to be there anyway.”
Similarly, I saw Donald Trump speak a couple of years ago in Los Angeles and he recounted the story of a friend who was talented but doing abysmally in his line of work. Trump kept telling him to quit — but he wouldn’t. Finally, he was fired. Thereafter, the friend started some sort of golf business and has never been happier.
Often when we fail — assuming we are working diligently — it is because we really are supposed to be doing something else. It means we are on the wrong path.
And often that “something else” is so much bigger than what we were doing.
What’s great about this is that if we think about it hard enough and creatively enough, the opportunity presented by the “failure” often dwarfs the problem.
An obvious example would be being laid off from your job and being forced to start your own business … which you have wanted to do forever but didn’t have the guts for. In this case, life has given you a kick in the pants.
Another example would be attempting a freelance writing career for niche magazines, and being rejected over and over. You might realize that you have been thinking way too small and decide to sumbit to the big national magazines, write a book, or even start your own magazine.
A less obvious example: your website/business is not doing as well as you hoped. You visit your traffic stats and notice that 50% of the people who are your visitors/customers are interested in X. You have been focusing on X, Y, and Z and everything in between.
Out of this failure you can recognize that there might be a huge market for X. You build the website and products centered around X … and your niche idea takes off.
A still less obvious example: what have you been criticized for your entire life? Arrogance, timidity, too loud, too meek, inability to cooperate with others, a desire to have everyone approve …
Whatever it is, that is part of you. And you should use that in a unique way that makes you stand out like no other person could.
For example, if you are criticized for being self-centered and money-focused — go for it. Start a business and use your (rare) arrogance to instill confidence in your employees.
If you have been criticized for being meek and wanting everyone to like you … use that! Work at a non-profit at which you aren’t front and center (at least for now) and do your best work for others.
Our personalities are uniquely ours, and we must use them for distinct purposes.
If we do not do so, we become yet another member of the crowd who damns his or her “flaws” and hopes for a better day.
But you are the master of your life. You create your life through your thoughts and your expectations.
Shape it according to your will and mold it to the form of your own unique personality.