I put a lot of time and went through a number of interviews looking for the right fit for me when it came to finding a job. I got what I was looking for but it took patience and a lot of fighting the feelings of failure.
The other day I read this and I think many others could use the thoughts.
During a research experiment a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank.
As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish.
The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.
Again, the shark quickly attacked. This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off. Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes to no avail. Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around unharmed in the second partition. Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.
This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the bait fish, until eventually the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack. The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.
The moral: Many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures, emotionally give up and stop trying. Like the shark in the story, we believe that because we were unsuccessful in the past, we will always be unsuccessful. In other words, we continue to see a barrier in our heads, even when no ‘real’ barrier exists between where we are and where we want to go.
I think this is much in the way that people are sometimes. We often try something and don’t get results so it is much easier to “give up”. We all create barriers within when we get rejected. What is important to note is just because we have been unsuccessful in our attempts doesn’t mean it will always be that way. There are a number of stories (Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Oprah etc..) that have all been at a point that they could give up or keep going. Those that find success don’t give up.
Having a barrier get in our way and feeling frustrated is natural. It is important that we stay motivated knowing that better things are just around the corner. If there is no struggle, the successful events don’t mean as much to us. It is a process of learning. Once we get to our intended goal then a higher level of satisfaction is achieved.
Those are the things that keeps life interesting. If everything went according to our plan things would get boring fast. It is the unexpected moments, good and bad, that keeps life interesting.
What I learned is to say thank you to my past life lessons and to welcome my future. I have found that great moments occur at times that I didn’t think they were possible.