This post emphasises how important it is to surrender to whatever process we find ourselves in, whilst all the time maintaining a belief in ourselves and trusting that everything will work out well in the end. None of which, however, is an excuse to sit back and do nothing. We have to generate and sustain a certain amount of momentum in order to create the possibility of success. And if we do that, then a turnaround in our fortunes can happen in an instant.
I broke my girlfriend’s computer the other week. More accurately, it broke while I was using it; but I still felt bad. I felt guilty, at fault, and compelled to inform her in order to lessen my own negativity. All of which told me I was in the Child ego state (TA). She was away on holiday at the time, and for a week I had to resist the urge to let her know. That compulsion to unburden myself of my guilt eventually waned, but one nagging thought kept resurfacing: had the hard drive been corrupted and was any data which hadn’t been backed up lost?
Initially my mind went to work on the worst case scenario, and it had a ball. But I remained resolute and did all I could to sort the situation out. It took a day and a half to quieten my mind. During that time I worked through my own list of what to do with worry (see ‘The Reality of Worry’), telling myself that if everything works out okay then I will have wasted time and energy worrying unnecessarily. And I took the computer back to the shop from where I had bought it three months previously.
In all of this I was reminded of two stories I have heard in the last two months. One concerns a close friend, the other an acquaintance. One an executive, the other a singer. Both of them told me similar stories about finding work.
The executive was having a tough time getting another job following a redundancy. For weeks afterwards he was applying for the few jobs he could find at his level. He went for interviews, but they led nowhere. When he recounted the story to me he emphasised that in all of the chaos of the second half of 2011, he still had the feeling that it would work out before the end of the year. By mid-November time was running out and the type of job he was looking for necessarily involved a long selection process of multiple interviews.
At the end of November he had a meeting which had been arranged by a mutual contact. Just a chat really; the sort of contact which might one day lead somewhere. But the day before the meeting, he received a call saying that a vacancy had appeared at that particular company, and the chat would now be an interview. The two men got on well. The owner of the company joined the interview and towards the end they conferred briefly before saying to my friend, “You’re just the man we’re looking for. We’d like to offer you the job”. Three days later he received the contract in the post and is really excited about starting this new phase of his working life. All from one conversation.
The singer recounted a similar story. He is a successful performer and has appeared in a number of musicals. But, in his line of work, there can be periods when jobs are difficult to find. It was during one of these periods that he caught himself getting down about not having any work. He made a conscious decision not to allow this negativity to happen. This shift in attitude helped him maintain a belief that everything would work out okay. Then one day he went for an audition. It lasted only three minutes and he left. Two minutes later he received a phone call telling him he’d got the part. All it had taken was five minutes. Right now he is appearing in one musical all across the Netherlands and has just begun rehearsals for another.
When listening to both of these stories, what struck me was the attitude of the two people, their belief in themselves and the process, and their commitment to their respective goals. There is always something going on behind the scenes, even if we think nothing is happening. It means that if we continue undaunted and remain focused on our goal, when the time is right our circumstances can change in an instant; in the time it takes to have one conversation or sing one song.
When she returned from holiday, my girlfriend dismissed the incident with the computer as unimportant; nothing to worry about. Three days later the shop called to say they had fixed everything. I needn’t have worried. So I’m glad I made the decision not to.