Learn the lesson

Four years ago, I put all my hopes into getting a job for which I was not qualified. It was a job for a technical trainer that I wanted desperately the minute I read the very cool description. I didn't get it. I didn't even get past the phone interview. I was crushed.

When I talked about my experience with a friend a few days after getting the call the company was "going in a different direction," she asked a smart question: "What did you learn from the experience?"

That question pulled me out of my downward spiral. And it really made me think. Upon reflection, I realized part of why I wanted the job so badly was that the commute would have been fabulous. I also loved the job description, a sign I wanted to work at a really cool company doing cool things. I realized I wanted to prove I was up to the challenge even if I didn't have the qualifications they thought they needed. I took comfort in the fact that I had at least gotten a phone interview, during which they said, "You don't have the qualifications, but that was the most creative cover letter we've ever seen." And I learned I could take a big risk, fail, and still be okay.

Now when things don't go my way, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I ask myself what I've learned. Taking time to reflect on anything from a crummy weekend to a disagreement with my husband to the loss of a business opportunity helps me make the most of each situation.

I remember hearing Oprah say when something bad happened in her life, she'd always ask "What have you come to teach me?" I have asked myself that questions countless times since then. Of course, I've learned valuable lessons from things that have gone well too.

What lessons have you learned?

Photo by JJ Thompson on Unsplash

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