Life has a unique capacity to throw bad situations at us when we least expect it. Or good opportunities. It depends on our outlook.
Last summer, I was still a brainless drone in the cubicle-zombie collective. That’s when I had a conflict with a supervisor over an ethical issue.
My supervisor did something unethical on a project that had my name attached to it. Out in the real world, your name and reputation are synonymous. My supervisor’s actions could have a severe impact on me.
Long story short. My supervisor didn’t like my confronting him, so he used his authority to punish me.
Because we all know you should punish your subordinates like they’re children. It’s rule #1 of effective leadership.
I had a choice. I could stay at a lousy job with leadership so weak it might as well be non-existent. Or, I could stand up and make a choice to move on with my life.
There are two lenses through which you can view a situation:
1) The first lens shows the situation as an obstacle.
2) The second lens reveals it as an opportunity.
There aren’t many things in life that are in our complete control. Sometimes life can feel like a pinball machine. And we are the pinball bouncing off of object after object faster than we can think. Our head spins out of control.
But, every once in a while, the game stops long enough for us to make a choice.
The lens through which we view a situation is one such choice. It’s entirely within our control.
Is it an obstacle, or is it an opportunity?
Are we going to shrink away and run to our safe space, lamenting our bad luck? Are we going to hope for someone to come save us and be disappointed when our savior fails to show up?
Or are we going to seize the opportunity and stomp on it? Are we going to use it as another stepping stone on the path to success?
Which choice would you make? What is an obstacle that you turned into an opportunity?