An owner of a small construction firm can’t win enough contracts to keep the business afloat and goes into insolvency. All his construction equipment is sold on auction. A farmer with a large herd of cattle can’t turn a profit and has to sell the entire herd. He turns his whole farming practice around growing profitable crops and staying away from livestock. A coffee shop opens in a shopping centre and after a few months it closes its doors. Three years later a new coffee shop opens in the same premises. It’s too early to tell if this owner is going to make it.
When businesses close down, when relationships come to an end, when bad things happen to good people, it’s hard to say that everything happens for the best. The only silver lining it seems in tragedy is that the suffering ceases, the family and caregivers learn how to mourn, overcome grief and go on with their lives.
Yet, on a more mundane level we find that when we are denied certain things, it might actually be for the best. A promising order that we were sure that we would get doesn’t materialise. This forces us to hunt for new business in areas that we may not have thought of before. Overcoming such disappointments allows us to align how ambitions and dreams with the reality of the marketplace.
Often we are blinded to better options. We pursue routes and pathways where we think we can find the gold but they may turn out to be fruitless. By opening up our minds we open ourselves to more options, better choices, more opportunities.
When things don’t turn out as we expect, we may take it personally but it may not be our fault at all. Walt Disney said: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, ahve strengthened me… You may not realise it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you”.
Isn’t it strange how things we may want so badly, a second-hand business we think we can turn around, the distribution for product we think we are suited to sell, the experienced employee we believe we need in our business, the potential customer we want so badly, but we don’t get any of them often happens for the best. Life and business has an interesting and unfathomable pattern that often remains invisible. Yet we move on to other things and later discover that other people who got what we wanted didn’t do half as well as we expected we would?
John Lennon said life is what happens to us while we make other plans. This simple truth is that we don’t always get what we want but other things may come into our lives that can be far better.
Sometimes things happen to us that may seem unfair, painful and unjust but after time we may realise that by learning to overcome adversity we strengthen ourselves. A wise man, a salesperson, once said that in every adversity there is a seed of opportunity.
In this bad economy, in this time of social upheaval, in this period of anti-business it takes strength to seek and find opportunity. As Khalil Gibran said, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happened to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens”. Although you might not think so at the time, change might happen for the best.