So Things Didn’t Go As Planned?

Well, on Tuesday of last week, we, as a country, went to the polls to make our selection for the next Leader of The Free World: i.e. The President of the United States. There are people out there who are not happy with how the election turned out, but whether your candidate won or not, we must remember something: Because it is an election, just like most experiences in life, there must be a winner and a loser.

And yet, the way I am seeing people have a tizzy because either their particular candidate didn’t win, a certain ballot measure of theirs didn’t pass or even when they ran out of whipped cream for their Frappuccino at Starbucks, makes me wonder what in the world is going on. Since when did it become okay to have a tantrum because you didn’t get your own way?

I believe The Rolling Stones said it best with their song You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Trust me on this people, I speak with the wisdom of experience. There are times you will go through your life having your heart set on a particular outcome and for some reason, it doesn’t happen. You could go into an interview really wanting this position. You’ve studied for years in school and working your way up the ladder for this golden opportunity. You’ve worn your lucky interviewing outfit, your resume is not only immaculate but impressive as well. You go into the interview calm, collected and full of confidence. As you go through the interview, you feel like you’ve nailed every question they ask you. You have done so well that you had to restrain yourself from strutting as you left the interview room. You think to yourself “I’ve got this! It’s my dream job and now all I need to do is wait for the phone call to tell me when I start. Life is good!”

But instead of getting the anticipated phone call, you get an email that says something to the effect of “Yeah, well, we liked you. We really, really did like you. But we decided to give the job to the boss’s nephew.”

You laugh, but it really does happen that way in the business world. I remember one interview I went on for a promotion and they actually told me that they already had someone in mind, but were just going through the formalities of the interview process until they were ready for their guy to start.

Now, was I upset about it? Of course, I was! Did I take out my frustrations by setting the building on fire or jumping up and down on the various cars in the parking lot at The Mega Corporation? Of course not! Why? Because my parents taught me a long time ago that just because you plan on something happening, even to the point where you think that nothing can go wrong, something will happen to foil your plans.

My parents were not pessimistic, just realistic. They understood the value of having a Plan B in your life.

Or, as Mrs. Nickels and I like to say “Hope for the Best. But Plan for the Worse” That saying holds true whether you are studying for a test, making a cake, applying for a promotion/job and even when choosing the next leader of our country. Because, ladies and gentlemen, nothing ever happens according to plan.

I am sure that some of you went to bed the night of the election thinking that your candidate had victory in the bag. Some of you went to bed thinking your candidate was not only going to lose but lose big time. Well, guess what? It was an upset. The media never saw it coming. In fact, a lot of people never saw it coming and you could tell by their reactions.

For example. Students in High Schools and Colleges throughout the country were in tears crying because the person they worked so hard for had lost. These students couldn’t go to class because they “were too grief-stricken” to take their tests. So what did the high schools and colleges do? Sent in counselors to help them cope with defeat!

Seriously? If they can’t cope with the results of a simple election, what’s going to happen to them in the real world? Life is full of disappointments people.

Didn’t get the job that you went to school and got a degree for? Let’s cry and go to counseling? Didn’t get that “Participation Trophy” from your potential employer because you went on the interview? Let’s hide out in Mom and Dad’s basement until you get your self-esteem back. How come the world is so harsh all of a sudden? It wasn’t like this when I was in school and when my answer was 5 to the question of what is 2 + 2 and my teacher said “That’s okay, you are close enough” They made me feel special in school. Why doesn’t the world do that to me now?

Because this is what Life is all about. A serious of ups and downs where one day you are on top of the mountain and the next you are looking up at the belly button of a snake. Because it is through our failers we learn. As Thomas Wayne said to his young son in The Dark Knight “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

If you feel like you’ve fallen because your candidate didn’t win or you didn’t get that job you’ve wanted or missed buy one get one free frappuccino at Starbucks, you just have to learn to pick yourself up and start again.

Because you only fail when you give up; not when you keep trying.

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