“We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learned to bear its ills without being overcome by them.” — Carl Jung
By Lisa Ryan
Here’s what occurred in the first two — the outright firings:
The first firing happened when I was 15 years old. I was working in a retail store at Randall Park Mall (yes, back in the day.) I went on a family vacation, came back, and found out I was no longer on the schedule. Three days later I had another job at the mall. No big deal.
The second one was a little more dramatic.
It was my first “real” sales job. The company I was with was sold to another owner, and let’s just say my new manager and I didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye. After several months I knew this wasn’t going to work out — and I grew to hate my job. It had gotten so bad that I would leave work on Friday and be depressed about having to go back to work on Monday. I didn’t want to quit without having another job to go to, but I was stuck. Then, one Sunday night, I was driving home, and dreading going to work in the morning. So I decided to pray.
Dear God, what should I do? Should I quit my job without another job? Should I just stay put? Please, give me a sign.” Well, of course, I looked to the heavens for a shooting star or some other dramatic and meaningful sign, but none came. I went in the next morning, and as soon as I got there, my manager called me into her office, where she promptly fired me. I was shocked, devastated, and dejected as I cleaned out my belongings and was ushered out without a chance to say “Goodbye” to my co-workers.
As luck would have it, on the way home, I found myself on the same road that I was on the night before when I asked for “the sign.” Then it hit me — yes, even though it didn’t come in the form I was looking for, I got my sign. No question about it.
It felt like a physical weight lifted off of my shoulders, and I laughed. I also learned a huge lesson — never ask for a sign if you don’t really want one! I went on to thoroughly enjoy my summer — after all, it was the drought of 1988, and the weather was spectacular. As fall rolled around, I found a job that I loved and was good at and stayed with for several years.
You can’t always change what happens to you, but when an unexpected or unpleasant event happens in your life, you have a choice. You can wallow or look for the good in the situation. Think about what you really want and plan for your NEXT – whatever that may be.
When you look back on the challenges you’ve faced in your life, knowing what you know today, would you have changed a thing?
Lisa Ryan is the founder of Grategy, where she helps organizations create more positive work environments. She is the author of eight books and co-stars in two documentaries: the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys” and “The Gratitude Experiment.” She can be reached at (216) 225-8027 and via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
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