I was in a very weird and uncomfortable situation recently that completely deflated me. It was an interview that seemed more like an attack – I think much of it had to do with the content – I was part of a small group that was being asked about our recent professional failures. We weren’t the cause, but the indicators show that what we’re doing as a community isn’t working and things have to change. Stat. But it wasn’t an easy conversation to have and I’m not sure I’m going to be happy with the story that will be published soon. So overall, a stressful day. But, what I keep remembering is when everything is going wrong, I have the choice to focus on what I can do right.
Remember the good things. I think about this every time I’m sick. I think I’m never going to get better and this is all there is. Wrong! The good days, the healthy days will return soon enough. If you keep focused on the good things, it will make even the tough times have a silver lining (sure, it may be a small sliver of a silver lining, but it is there).
This too shall pass. What if the article ends up being the worst thing ever? What if it shows all of our faults and everyone hates us? The good news is no matter what it is, it fades. It may be tough right now, it may be tough tomorrow, but it will fade. The only thing constant is change. We’ll see brighter days soon enough.
Know what is important in each situation. I’m pretty sure that a swift punch to the face would have made me feel better (not my face, I’d be doing the punching). But that is neither professional or productive. But I should have focused on the other people around me. They could have used encouragement and support. We also should have been more aware that we had more power of the situation that we realized – we could have worked together to make it stop.
Check your attitude at the door. You know what I wanted to do after the meeting? Go home and take a nap. I was grumpy and didn’t want to deal with anything. Well, I still had 5 more meetings to work through that day. I could have carried my bad attitude with me and ruined 55 other people’s day because of how I felt. But I learned a long time ago (thank you retail), that your attitude should build others up, regardless of your crappy situation. So I shook it off and went into my next meeting with a good attitude. And I felt better. So I went to the meeting after that with a good attitude. And I felt better again. And it turns out, by the time I left for the day, I was feeling alright. You have a choice each day to let a bad situation define you or to move past it and maintain your focus – you can make the right choice; it’s worth it.
Press on toward the goal. Everyone and everything has room for improvement. If I thought that what I was doing was flawless; I was wrong – and I’m wrong quite often. But I don’t give up. I know the road to success takes time and they’ll be bumps along the way. Sure they’re frustrating, but the bad times make the good times so much sweeter.
It’s only been a few hours and I’ve survived this deflating situation. And whatever yours is; you will too. Things can be bad and they may get worse, but you always have the opportunity to move forward with purpose and direction. Take advantage and make it count.
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