I lost a big job a couple of weeks ago. It was really good job, too. A couple of episodes guest starring on one of the most popular shows on TV. Good role, good money, good timing---everything was perfect. Which should have told me something, but sometimes those perfect opportunities work out. Right? Not this time, they picked somebody else.
You might say, "what's the big deal, you work all the time"-----well, maybe more than most but never as much as I'd want. But that's not the point. Once I'd gotten the call my first reaction was that I was disappointed. Then I felt a little angry, as anyone would be when they didn't get something they wanted and worked hard for. I had a few moments of that and then I said to myself, "What's next?"
Almost immediately I began to search for the next thing to focus on, to strive for that would take me forward. I wasn't thinking, "Give me something to make me forget this," but rather accepting the reality of the situation I needed to get energized toward the future instead of wallowing about my loss.
Wallowing is bad news for everyone. Giving unlimited amounts of emotional energy to something that can't be changed is crippling and useless. What good will come if you scream, yell, drink--whatever you do--for hours on end lamenting this bad thing? How is that going to make you better? And even more importantly, how will it help you reach your ultimate goals? It won't and it could even set you back.
I had one of those experiences when I was very young in my career where I was angry for several days when I felt I was wronged because I wasn't the actor selected. Not only did it not change the original outcome, it put me in an emotional state that I know caused me to lose even more work that I auditioned for during my dark period. How smart was that?
My problem then, which is the same for everyone who dwells too long on what's wrong, is that my ambitions were too small. I had no big picture of my life and career; I had a very tunnel-versioned image of what I wanted and it was all about "right now." No tomorrow or next year, but "What do I want now and how do I get it?" Period. That's it.
The higher you focus, the bigger your dreams, the less each misstep along the way matters. It all fits in its proper place within the bigger picture; it is not the picture itself.
Set your goals high about the most important things in your life and focus on moving forward no matter what happens. Everything that happens, not succeeding at certain steps along the way, can take you forward if you let it. Because of my not being chosen for the job above, I have since used that to open other doors that are already proving fruitful.
It's all about choices. Choose your goals over your losses, what you have over what you don't. You'll be a whole lot happier and keep yourself on track to bring even more happiness your way.