Helen Keller said, “When one door of happiness closes, another one opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” This is the type of quote I feel like I have heard numerous times without paying attention to what it actually means. As I listen more closely to the people around me and overhear them lament about all of the “closed” doors in their life, it makes me realize that now, more than ever, we need to keep this quote at the forefront.
I recall a conversation I had with a friend who was upset she was not selected for a job that seemed to be the perfect fit. We spent a fair amount of time dissecting the interview process and looking at what could have been done differently. While we did this, one thing was very clear to me — this was a painfully raw discussion for her. I truly sympathized with my friend, but my sympathy waned a bit when she mentioned that this event had occurred several months ago. It was then I realized my friend was so laser-focused on the “closed” door that she was completely missing all of the opportunities lying before her.
I am not trying to minimize what it takes to look for a new job or to face disappointment. Most of us know all too well what it feels like to experience a loss. However, at some point we have to face the fact that a door has closed and realize that the more time we spend staring at it and wishing it would re-open, the more opportunities in life slip by. One could say that this is giving up, but I would disagree. Anyone will tell you that the greatest successes they achieved in life were almost always preceded by a series of failures.
As I write this, it helps me reflect and be thankful for the personal doors that are open for me. But I guess I can also be glad about the dead-bolted locks on other doors. These are the ones that keep me from meandering off in another direction.