We’ve all had those moments. Coffee stained your pants before the big interview and you didn’t get the job. Girlfriend didn’t accept the grand proposal and huge rock you so graciously offered. Moved to a new city for a job, and a month later they’re downsizing. Yadda yadda yadda, first world problems.
So what do you do when plans go astray?
Do you shrug your shoulders and keep on walking? Or do you curl up in a ball and die?
I know most of us would rather do the latter. However, that is not an option for those of us with modern-day responsibilities. Living in the city means that nothing ever stops. Rent is due at the end of every month, kids need to see the doctor, fridge needs to be filled – there is never a moment to dwell on rejection. There’s a reason why The Great Wall of China was built so fast – because they didn’t sit there and whine about how hard it was. (Well, sure that may have been coerced through slave labor. But the point is nothing productive ever comes from the “shoulda coulda woulda” philosophy.)
Personally, I’ve had my fair share of failure in work, relationships and even day-to-day tasks. But I’ve finally learned that success is not simply given, it is earned. Therefore, I thought it would be best to share my process of recovery when problems “hit the fan”.
1. Cry/Curse for 5 minutes
That’s all you get! You need to show some empathy for your loss (be it a job, romantic interest, opportunity, youth, friend, pet lizard, golden reputation, whatever!) Those who bottle up their feelings often release these emotions through other more destructive mediums.
2. Do Nothing For 1 Day
Don’t think about the issue, you are overwhelmed enough by this stressor (and you know stress is the #1 killer these days) so lay low for a day or two. Don’t analyze the issue over and over, you can do that later.
3. The Third Eye
After throwing your child-like tantrum and being a bum, it’s time to grow up and think from the third perspective. Take responsibility for why this bad thing is happening. Do you know what lead to this event? What would you do differently? If you were in the shoes of the other party, what would you have wanted from yourself? If there is ABSOLUTELY nothing you would have changed, then accept this defeat as it is – nothing more than a low in the infinite rollercoaster of ups and downs during your century-long human life.
4. Home Repairs
Bad things happen to bad people…but bad things also happen to good people. Which one are you? Think about the way you are living your life and if you deserve success. Create a list on what you would like to do to improve your character, work, home and relationships.
If it’s a job problem, then apply to at least 100 new employers.
If it’s a relationship problem, then go on 5 new dates in the next month.
If it’s a home problem, then do 5 new things with your family/friends/roommates this month.
If it’s a personal problem, attend group therapy/church/support systems in the next month.
I realize most of these are common sense. But sometimes it is hard to sanctify the exact process for recovery when all you want to do is wallow in self-loathing. Hope this helps on everyone’s path to happiness!