Sometimes, it is best not to get what you want in Life. Because when you review the reasons why you did not get what you wanted, you will really find what is truly ordained for you.
Life is inscrutable. The path you choose may not always be available to you. But a closed door or a dead end will, ALWAYS, often miraculously, open up a whole new path for you. You may trudge on it reluctantly to arrive at an unknown place, only to discover that you really, truly belong there!
This is so bizarre at one level. You are encouraged to set a Vision for yourself, have goals and diligently pursue them. Yet you are now being told that despite what you have planned, Life will take you on its own course! Well, it may seem incredible, but it is the way it is. At another level, it is so simple and easy. You can only make a Life out of what happens to you __ irrespective of what you planned or wanted. That’s really the only way to bliss!
16-and-a-half years ago, in 1996, after three successive disastrous employment stints, I presented myself in the office of a high-profile recruiter in Chennai. He subsequently built his company up well and sold it recently to a global recruitment firm. But back then, the recruiter was a big name, and his firm was still a start-up. I had known him through my years as a business journalist. So, I sought his help in getting me a good, well-paying, purposeful corporate job. He spent three hours speaking with me and assured me of a quick turnaround. Post that meeting, over the next three months, I must have called him a few dozen times. Email was not so big then. So, one had to follow up only via phone. He neither answered my calls nor he did return even one of them. It was bizarre. I remember agonizing then: at least he could tell me why he was not successful in pushing my case with employers?
Frustrated, and perhaps also driven by the fact that I had been ‘rejected’, I resolved that I should perhaps go on to be an employer. And not be an employee anymore. One fine day, in August 1996, I went ahead and set up a tiny consulting Firm with my wife! We were moderately successful financially in our early years. But by the end of our first decade in business, we were staring at a big, dark, black hole of accumulated losses and an unimaginable pile of debt. Eventually, we went bankrupt and, in many ways, continue to be in that state.
Initially, I hated where we had ended up finding ourselves: presiding over the debris of a debt-laden, problem-ridden firm. I used to hate that feeling__of guilt, ignominy, hopelessness, fear and resentment__ which would gnaw at me from within in each waking moment. But now, after all these years, when I look back, I find that without the rejection I faced in the job market, I may not have embraced entrepreneurship and without having failed at entrepreneurship, I may never have understood what Life is, what intelligent living is and understood what contentment is as I do now!
When I introspect, I am grateful for the experiences I have been through that have transformed me from being an angry, foul-mouthed, obsessive, possessive, egotist to being a simple, accepting, mindful voyager through Life. My learnings from the path that I did not choose, but which unfolded itself in front of me as I walked, have brought me to, I earnestly believe, my Life’s purpose: to awaken people to the right way of thinking, living, working and winning! I am reminded of what John Bunyan, a 17thCentury English writer and preacher, had to say: “Although I have been through all that I have, I do not regret the many hardships I met, because it was they who brought me to the place I wished to reach.”
So celebrate Life’s inscrutability. Don’t grieve, don’t mourn over what you wanted and did not get. Keep walking, knowing that the path will always unfold, and always take you to where you must eventually arrive and truly belong!