I was asked recently to think of the worst job I ever had. It came immediately to mind. Oddly, I then found myself smiling. When I look back, it ultimately was the best job I could have had. It made everything that came after (like the expectations and pace that comes with working at EMC!) seem like a pleasure trip in comparison.
Okay, can't use that job to answer the question.
I then thought of the next toughest job I ever had. A form of rage filled my head just thinking about it because it involved working for someone I didn't connect with. But again, I then found myself smiling. Looking back, working for that person benefited me more than most other positions I've held. In that role, I learned -- grudgingly at the time -- about work styles and the value to my work product that comes from someone who approaches problems differently.
Okay, can't use that one either.
This realization, I believe, carries over to the current tough time in the economy. Most of us are being impacted personally by this point. Those of us who lived through the last recession, however, are better prepared and less phased by the current unfolding.
That old saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," comes to mind.
...As does the powerful observation that an "Unfolding Flower" could also be considered a "Blooming Flower."
photo: sarah girard
Something to consider.
----------------- Talk Back -------------
Was there a tough time in your life that you now see as a growth period -- a blooming -- for your personal development?
My first tough time was in the 7th grade. I got "kicked out" out of my group. This was a group of girls who sat together every day for lunch, all other school activities, and hung out in general. On being "kicked out," I only had about 15 minutes to line up another group to sit with before the lunch bell, else risk total humiliation.
I saw that "girl" who kicked me out just recently. Of course she was really nice to me, and we didn't discuss the kicking out part. Like the memory of my tough boss, my brain still fills with a bit of rage at the thought of this 7th grade pain. But again, I smiled when I saw her. Because of her, I ended up with the best friends of my life. Many of the girls I ended up sitting with that day have been through every major life curve and thrill with me for the past 30 years. They were the friends I was meant to have.
Getting kicked out in the 7th grade also gave me an experience that shelters me from fear of ever getting unceremoniously "kicked out" again. It might happen to me one day. I won't like it, but at the same time I know I could handle it if it did. Been there -- and I'm stronger for it.