photo by Chris Dlugosz
I was recently working on a deal with Costco to have my book sold in their stores. At the last minute, the deal fell through. I won’t bore you with the details, but I worked very hard for the better part of a year until it was beyond my control and there was little I could do but watch the green light turn yellow and then sadly, red.
For months leading up to this, I was excited with anticipation. January would be the month the book would debut at Costco. This marketing coup, I had envisioned, would be the answer to this indie author’s dreams. So when I found out about this change in direction, I was very surprised by my reaction. I didn’t feel awful. Okay, I did feel awful, but I wasn’t devastated.
Maybe it’s because I’ve recently come to believe that there is no such thing as failure, really. Yes, while rejection, mistakes and unfulfilled goals are very disappointing, they are not Failures and they should not be perceived as Stop signs. They are merely Detour signs. Life’s way of saying, find another way to succeed. continue reading . . .
Couldn’t have said it any better. Great reminder. Just detours!
Hi Lois! Thanks for reading! xo
Uplifting. a lesson for life. And highly appropriate for me and my current state. BB
Thanks for reading, Bob. Happy New Year!
what a great philosophy. I will write this on a piece of paper and post it on my desk.
Thank you for this amazing gift. Things didn’t go the way you had planned? Not a failure,
Just a detour! I love it.
I think it will make you feel more powerful, and who can’t use a little more of that?
Eva, this is such a wonderful blog and you’re really an amazingly gifted writer. I couldnt agree more with your perspective about detours. In my own particular journey, and not wanting to sound too preachy, I have become a recent practioner of Buddhism and it has completely changed my perspective on life and, in particular, business. This blog you wrote is actually very Buddha-like.
One of the most impactful aspects of Buddhism for me has been its view of problems. And in fact, it actually changes your vernacular on this subject from problems to “challenges.” Buddhism teaches you that each “challenge” is actually a gift to help you grow as you gain new wisdom and insights. In our culture, I think many of us believe that the absence of problems is the perfect, ideal life but that’s actually not healthy in my humble opinion. Very often, we try to avoid problems in the hope they will evaporate. However, the reality is that when we ignore problems and challenges, they end up magnifying, getting worse and often repeating themselves over and over again. And how else would we learn and grow without being challenged?
And that was the breakthrough for me personally. I started to see how each of these incredible obstacles that were continually placed in front of me were actually all part of my journey to get better as a business person; to stretch my capabilities and to push my own skill set beyond what I could have ever imagined. While it’s only natural to want to limit the severity of these challenges so you can survive and grow, changing my outlook on them has given me a whole new view of running a company and pursuing my professional dreams. I wish I had these insights 25 years ago when I set out building my first company, but perhaps I wasn’t ready to accept them. Back then, every setback, every obstacle was devastating to me and I couldn’t see them as opportunities to actually grow and change.
So maybe your beautifully written and wonderfully articulated perspective of “detours” could also be viewed as “challenges” that are strengthening your resolve, giving you the strength you perhaps didn’t know you had and the wisdom that will enable you to continue to grow and ultimately find the success you so richly deserve and I know you will find.
Thanks for sharing….
Hi Michael! It’s so wonderful to see you here! Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comments. I think I would like Buddhism. When you mentioned the word “challenges” I don’t know why this popped into my mind, but I thought about a kid playing a video game. And then I thought how that kid would feel if all the challenges were removed and he/she would sail through the video game without really doing anything and then would “win” every time. How boring would that be? How many times would that game be played? Yes, we need challenges, partly because when we do “win” it feels damn good. Have a great 2016!
It is all about the detours, dear Eva…but you shall overcome. Perhaps something better is coming on the road. I hope so. In the meantime, happy new year. ~nan
You are so right, Nan. It’s all about the detours. I wish I had realized that earlier in life. Maybe I would have seen a bigger picture. Happy New Year, to you too, Nan! I hope it’s filled with great inspiration and lots of belly laughs!
That’s such a wise and healthy attitude, I will be taking a leaf from your book, so to speak. “A detour” – I’ll remember that. Thank you.
On the subject of serendipity, here’s a passage I love and believe:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
(The “Goethe couplet” referred to here is from an extremely loose translation of Goethe’s Faust lines 214-30 made by John Anster in 1835.)” by William Hutchinson Murray
I love that, Katia. I have long thought that 90% of doing something is making the decision to do it. Yes, “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” Moving energy is so key to success. Happy New Year to you!
Well said! I really appreciated your blog!
Thank you, Eva! It’s great to see you!