A series of events that I thought would turn into my favor ultimately, did not happen as per my plans.
I am programmed to respond to such situations by criticizing myself and others, dwelling on it for too long, feeling anxious, stressed …etc
But today I decided to betray my self-programing.
I am looking for other opportunities. I engaged myself in my routine work. I am already feeling alright while the situation is as it is.
So what shacked my old behavioral pattern of responding to failures?
It is the proximity of a new colleague and her brutally honest sharing of anecdotes of a series of events that has happened to her.
It gave me incredible strength today.
I thought it might give a clue to you as well to deal with failures in life.
This real story is of a 30 year old Indian girl. One and a half years ago she was perusing her PhD in a private University. She was not getting any fellowship and in private universities you pay each semester for your research work. She is upper middle class girl who can easily afford that.
A happy go lucky girl, she was also applying for jobs. After around 3 years of her PhD she got a good job opportunity in a multinational company some 1500 km away.
She was happy.
She converted her full time PhD into part time and joined the company.
It was a well-paid job that offered her travelling around the word. She is a mad traveller.
Soon after joining, she realized it could be a job she would want to retire from. A relaxed work environment, ample of opportunities and perks.
More than a year after joining the job, her PhD guide warned her that in order to proceed with her research work, she would have to come back. ‘If you don’t come back, you are not going to get your PhD’.
Everybody in the family thought, what’s in a degree when you already have such a good job. And anyways a PhD does not guarantee a good job.
She thought though it’s a good company, but she can get similar jobs anytime in her life as plenty of opportunities are there. But since so many efforts and years have gone into PhD, it’s better to complete it now than never. She left her job and came back to pursue full time PhD once again.
A few months after coming back she had got an opportunity to attend a 15 days programme related to her research in the USA. She applied. Her guide was against her going there. She went for the programme irrespective.
After coming back from the USA her guide became hostile.
One day soon after her returning from the USA, a joint departmental meeting was held. Post meeting she received a letter stating that she has been fired from her PhD listing number of issues.
She was not even given a chance to give justifications.
Obviously it left her nowhere. No job and no PhD.
What was she doing after 15 days?
She was doing ok. She joined an NGO just to let her mind get clarity and a place away from the grinning parents.
She told her story to the interview panel as well. It’s interesting that everybody believed her. In India we are taught to hide our failures from every single person. And it was an interview board!
She eats homemade food. Laughs and while telling her story to others she sounds brutally honest.
The new temporary job is paying her less than half of what she was earning earlier while there is no proper office environment.
Now it’s been 10 months. She applies for job every single day. She got an interview opportunity once, but got rejected.
She does not miss her exercise routine even for a day. She leads a disciplined life up to the point that you may find it boring. She takes good care of her grandparents.
She says she has managed much more difficult situations this way. And that she knows what works.
Her parents keep telling her that she is a failure. They say she is 30 but does not even get 30k (which is very less for a person of her caliber).
Her reply: I am not depressed and that they should feel proud of the fact that their daughter, despite facing so many failures, is not turning self-destructive, not an inch towards suicidal.
‘If there is food in my plate nobody can make me feel bad. I am extremely rare species of homo sapience’.
‘I was not always that way, I prepared myself continuously to be the way I am now’. And I am proud of that’.
And today I felt a bit of her nature has rubbed off on me.
The take away message for me is to not make tough situations – ‘life and death one’ and the second is to cultivate ability to look beyond the current scenario.
It’s extremely important to know that shit happens and that there is a way to deal with it.
How you deal with failures?
Let me know in the comment section.