We were talking, just recently, about how hard it is to fire someone.
But, have you ever thought much about the advantages of losing a job?
Somebody ran a survey once among very successful people and they had to admit, under close questioning (even though some of them had never thought about it before), that their success in life hinged directly upon the jobs they had lost. It made little difference whether they’d quit or been fired. You may ask any successful person, “Where would you be today if you’d kept some of the jobs you had when you were first starting out?” The majority of them will shudder at the thought. (This isn’t always true, of course, but in nine times out of ten it is!)
In almost every successful person’s life, there have been times when the world looked almost too black to face.
No job. No money. A family to support. On the verge of panic or despair. Then, a year or two later, they could look back and realize that what had seemed like doomsday had really been the turning point in their lives. It had only been the camouflage of a really great opportunity. I remember reading somewhere — and it’s absolutely true, but hard to swallow sometimes — that there is, in every failure, the seed of an equivalent success.
I know of a man who was wiped out in 1929. He lost millions and woke up to find himself several million dollars in debt. This was the time when the popular thing to do was a back one-and-a-half out of the highest window of a skyscraper. But this particular man rightly figured that if he could do it once, he could do it again. He went to work, paid off his debts, and made a larger fortune than before.
It would appear that it isn’t the setback that determines our future nearly so much as it is our reaction to the setback.
The important thing to remember is that lurking somewhere within every sort of set-back is the key to an even larger success. This isn’t Pollyanna; this is strictly true, and it’s been proved thousands of times; it’s being proved every day.
When a lonely miner’s burro ran off one day, he thought the world had come to an end. In a fit of anger, he reached down and picked up a rock to throw after the fool animal; and feeling the weight of the rock, he knew he’d struck it rich! He had found what turned out to be one of the richest gold mines in what was then the Arizona Territory. Would he have found it if the burro had not run off? Maybe, maybe not.
It’s a fact that Glen Cunningham would not have become the fastest man in the world (in his time) had not his legs been burned, and had he not been told that he would never walk again.
Sometimes, losing a job can make a person think the end of the world has come. But as a rule, it doesn’t turn out that way.
As a rule, it turns out very well in the long run and, eventually, the person realizes how much better off he is than he would have been if it hadn’t happened.
Of one thing you can be sure: a person winds up, in the long run, with exactly that which he really wants. You might not get many people to admit it, but it’s true all the same. We get out of life what we want out of life — not necessarily what we say we want, but what we really want down deep within ourselves. For many, this is wonderful; for others, it’s not so good.
Opportunity is the world’s most skillful master of the art of camouflage.
It hides in a thousand places and wears a thousand faces. Sometimes it looks like failure, or tragedy. But it is always there.