Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celebrate failure

While I am completely familiar with the concept that sometimes not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise, I have to admit that some disappointments sting more than others. I recently was involved in an interview process for a job that I wanted badly. It meant a move to Chicago from East Tennessee and changing my whole life, leaving behind immediate family, friends and an area that I deeply love. The flip side of that coin was a job opportunity that, I felt, was written with me, my heart, my skills, my everything, in mind. I made the cut from 120+ candidates down to the top 3 and in the end, the company chose a different person to fill the position.

I won't lie - part of me was relieved. I've done those big, involved moves before, going to larger cities and the whole process is exhausting. At the same time, it is fun and exhilarating to make that extreme change, learn a new area, meet new people and build a whole new life for yourself. Having done it several times before, I knew I could do it again and be quite happy. I felt that being a bit conflicted inside was just a natural reaction to the possibility of that large and dramatic a change being on the horizon once again.

Well, the news that I wasn't the candidate chosen, while in some ways a relief, was also incredibly frustrating. I was disappointed, then I was downright pissed for at least a day. I wrote to a few close friends, with most of them not bothering to even respond to the emails (big lesson learned there, but a topic for a different blog), and one friend in particular making a comment that literally jarred me. In a good way. His response to my news of not getting the job was, "What great news!" I think I sat there and goggled in surprise at that statement for a few minutes, because it wasn't anywhere near the response I was expecting. I went on to read the rest of his response and am printing it word for word here, because this friend has some wonderful wisdom to impart.

"What great news! Why? Well, because something out there has your name on it and it is not the Chicago company. It is something well beyond your ability to even ask or think... so think big and expect it. It will come when you are ready for it and it will perfect your talent, you'll write about it and it will sell you to your awaiting contracts."

By "contracts" my friend Jeff meant the fact that I'm a freelance technical writer, and as such, am always in hot pursuit of that next contract. That aside, his words made me pause and change my whole perspective on the topic of not getting what we want. I really do know that that's not always the worst thing that can happen - and that, as I said above, it can be a blessing in disguise. This particular friend has this wonderful ability to inject so much positive energy, enthusiasm and sincere appreciation into his words that I wanted to share his wisdom with anyone who reads this blog.

The lesson here is to celebrate failure, as it clearly brings you that one more step closer to your heart's desire. If, however, you choose to get mired down in bitterness, disappointment and moping, you're going to block all that wonderful positive energy from manifesting in your life as efficiently as it is meant to. I don't think that honest disappointment is a bad thing, as long as we don't wallow in that emotional state indefinitely. I was fortunate enough that the one friend who did respond to my news about not landing that job had the perfect words to basically kick my butt in the kindest, most loving way possible, and lift me up in the process. The lifting up part was figuratively a boot up the backside to knock some good old mountain wisdom into my head, and the extra benefit was that I lost the grumpy, gloomy outlook and was immediately full of smiles and positive energy. That is a rare gift to be able to impart and I value this person's ability to be that loving.

Yes, I would have loved to have landed that job in Chicago. It sounded fun, interesting, challenging....everything that I look for in a work environment. But, what a wonderful concept to embrace that as wonderful as that job description was, there is something so much MORE wonderful...richer, rewarding, lucrative, enjoyable and abundant heading my way. This is the unexpectedly sweet lesson to be learned from failure, and an imminently logical reason to celebrate that moment of failure for the very clear road sign that it is....that failure isn't a negative.

One of my favorite scientists to quote is Thomas Alva Edison. Here is a quote he made about failure that I find to be very apropo to this blog:

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that did not work."

I like Edison's, and Jeff Nix's approach....celebrate failure, my friends. It means you're moving forward in life!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the inclusion, I guess one never knows when they,ve assisted another or to what extent. Life is a blessing.