Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life 4

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Instruction four from the Dalai Lama is about appreciating the L. We would all rather have a win in everything that we do in life, but that’s not possible. I could say that life’s not fair, deal with it. But we know that. We know that bad things can happen to good people, good things can happen to bad people, and that even if -insert ultimate being here- has master plan, we can never understand it. What we don’t often focus on is all the good things that can come from a missed or lost opportunity. The most obvious is the lesson. What have you learned about yourself from not getting that thing you wanted? Often when I wouldn’t get chosen for a position after a job interview, I would wonder what I did wrong. Sometimes it was my outfit. I hate suits, like with the fire of a thousand suns. I can’t pull them off. So I would wear outfits that were separates. It took forever for me to find a black dress that looked good on me. It had the benefits of only being one piece, and all I would need were tights and shoes. Perfect. I wore it to the interview that got me my promotion. 🙂

Another good thing that can come from not getting what you want is the opportunity to do other things. I’ve told you about my YA class and that my absolute disgust for my professor lead me to pass on applying for a position in the YA department at my job. Sure, I would have gotten to do a lot of cool things as a YA associate. I would have been able to design programs that reached out to the troublemakers in our library. I would have been able to do displays in the YA section. I would have been able to try new  things and expand my skills. I can do a lot of that now, but not to the same degree as I would have been able to as a YA associate. Not going for that job has given me rest. In the summer, librarians are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. We try not to show it, but summer reading, summer programs, and general summer bodies in the library take a lot out of us. After my one summer program, I have been privileged to just help or observe on the sidelines. I’ve gotten to participate in the craziness that summer brings to library, but also be a bit removed. There are also parts of my job that I love and would hate to give up. I’m on the collection development team. I get to select the books that come into the library. I wouldn’t be able to do that in YA. I oversee the Twitter platform team of our social media committee. I would only be able to half the stuff I do now. I help out with meeting rooms, making sure people are adhering to our regulations. I wouldn’t be able to do that either. I love my job. I love the people I work with. Even though I’m adult services, I help out with YA things whenever I can. I’m going to be taking on new responsibilities soon, as well. I applied for the ALA Emerging Leaders program. I would not be able to do any of that if I didn’t have my current job.

These are only examples of recent times when I didn’t get what I want. But I want to show you that not getting what you want can lead to wonderful things. What are some times that you didn’t get what you wanted, but great things or new doors opened for you as a result?

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