The setbacks you experience are wonderful opportunities to learn. Not only can you learn, in a critical sense, what you might have done wrong, but you also can come to understand what has led you to make the choices you’ve made.
Are you pursuing the goal you truly want? Are you pursuing a goal whose steps you are suited for? Practice gaining something every time things don’t go your way.
In college, Mary Ann sweated through a pharmacy program, one of the most challenging majors available. She had her eye on a career that would pay well and perform a public service.
Only after graduating did she see the options that were truly available to pharmacists today. “Basically, you can sign on for life with a mega-pharmacy, working long hours in a windowless warehouse, slapping labels on bottles, and never seeing, much less talking to, your customers. Or, you can sign on for a small neighborhood operation that will either go out of business or be bought up by a superchain within six months.”
Mary Ann opted for the mega-pharmacy and, not surprisingly, didn’t enjoy her work.
After six years of very steady work, she and two colleagues began making plans to open their own store where they could work on their own terms and feel like they were helping people. “My desire for change overwhelmed my fears of what would happen out on our own,” Mary Ann explained.
“I wasn’t in the right place. I needed to make a change because I knew I was in the wrong job, and I began to worry I was in the wrong career. But I don’t look at my decision as a disaster, because people often fail, but if they learn from failures, then they have gained something in the process.”
A majority of students who failed in college and later returned for their degree report that the biggest difference in their second chance was better knowledge of themselves and their capabilities and commitments.
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