Sometimes what you think is the worst is actually the best thing.

I remember getting laid off from a job some years ago. It was just before Christmas and I was not a happy camper. At the time I remember being hurt, frustrated, and a bit shocked. I remember Chris was traveling for work in Turkey at the time and communicating with the time difference was complicated. The fact of the matter is that I wanted out, yet I had not walked away on my own. When things do not go the way that we plan, we fight back, get down on ourselves, and often wonder “why me?”

Yet, with hindsight we can often see the world with different eyes. Hindsight might take a few years, a few months, and sometimes with the smaller things just a few days. What matters is that we are able to reflect and see that where we end up is often so much better than where we were and that we learn, grow, and change as a result of these events in life. For me it was a job. For some it might be a marriage or friendship. For others maybe it is a health challenge.

I often think how we act and react in the world determines what our experience will be. I will give you an example. When I got laid off and had a few months of severance I could have relaxed and just kicked back. Instead I started this blog, I looked for jobs, and after three months landed a great one. Looking back though, yes I was successful in my endeavor, but the caveat was I did not take that time as downtime to explore and cherish that quiet time as much as I should have at the time. I was worried I would not find a job, that our income would be lacking, you know the list of things we tell ourselves.

I recently wrote about the book: “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan. She writes about a job she herself lost and what her friend shared with her after the fact:

“’Your leaving was the best thing that could have happened, don’t you think?’ Walter asked. I looked at him in surprise, so he continued. ‘It didn’t make you happy at the time, but you would have been miserable staying there while he went off in all the wrong directions.’ Sometimes the simplest comment gives a new perspective.” Page 252

Kaplan is so right. Sometimes the smallest and largest things blow our life apart, and we are never the same, but often we are better for it. We just have to remember that sometimes life gets blown apart so it can be made even better.

One thought on “Sometimes what you think is the worst is actually the best thing.

  1. excellent observations. I cant remember who said this (maybe Jack Welch) but no one should ever be promoted to an executive level if they’ve never been fired. Being fired is most often due to NOT being a carbon copy of the existing management, a burr on their saddle, one who keeps them responsible for their decisions. The great leaders always have this role but the average ones hate them.

    getting laid off is like being dumped even if the relationship sucks. “why don’t you like me” is what it comes down to. 😦 sniff sniff. it’s that stupid, sophomoric and petty. and yes, i was laid off from my first job in sales after almost 5 years and thank god i did. I had already started my MBA (part-time) because i wanted out of sales but that salary – once you get your pipeline filled – is addictive because you build a life on your mean salary and when you have a bumper year, you have $ for that motorcycle, trip, toy, etc. (yes i was single). thank god i was knocked out of orbit. I totally was able to course correct and get back on track. But, like you, I did not take a moment and “smell the roses” but was proud that i could “double dip” with my new salary and my severance. dumb – should have take a trip but that’s 45 year old Ed talking versus 27 year old Ed talking.

    I look now at the Millennials and boy has this generation been saddled with so much Boomer crap: we screwed the environment but you fix it or you wont have a world to live in, we mismanaged social security but you fix it or you’ll be destitute when you retire, we spend what we cant afford (insane US deb) but you finds ways to pay for this or you’ll have a country in default resulting in stupid inflation and social disorder, we punted life employment so you get happy with job shopping etc. And this is why they are changing – screw changing blowing up 100 years of production optimization. And this is why so many people in the “establishment” look at them with indigence. it’s because they are different and are achieving scale: right now are 1/3 of the work force and will be 3/4 of the work force in 10 years. Damn, times are a changing and I love that.

    in 10-20 years, with long-term employment dead, we’ll all be job shoppers with 1 – 5 year contracts pending your specialization and the market demand for your talent. Companies will be like peace time militaries – only officers with a cursory enlisted force. Getting “fired” will be replaced with “contract negotiations.”


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