Gretchen Rubin

How I manage to make myself happier after a big professional disappointment.

I had a big professional disappointment this morning, and I have the sinking, almost sick feeling that I get when I feel that I’ve failed at something.

I’m trying to comfort myself with two catchphrases:

First: “The second opportunity is the better opportunity.” This is something that the Big Man always says: in career matters, if you don’t get the first opportunity you want, it’s always lucky, because inevitably the second opportunity is better.

Second: “Enjoy the fun of failure.” I’m very competitive, and also insecure, and I hate, hate, hate the feeling of failure. I’ve been reminding myself that failure is a necessary part of creativity, of risk-taking, of aiming high. If I’m not failing, I’m not trying hard enough. It’s fun to fail.

I can’t mope around, because I’m expected at the Big Girl’s school for her birthday celebration, and I need to pick up doughnuts for her class.

It occurs to me – eight years ago today, I was giving birth to a fragile four-pound baby who went straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a week. If on that day, I could have known that anything at all could cast a shadow on the eighth birthday of our healthy, beautiful girl, I wouldn’t have believed it. What could dim that happiness?

Okay, I’m starting to feel better now.

icon emailNewsletterLight

One Last Thing

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.

Sign Up Now