Recently, a good friend of mine was laid off from her job. She never expected herself to leave the company she had been with for the last 7 years. Coincidently, soon after she had been let go, I was sitting at Starbucks when I heard a voice calling my name. I looked around and saw a woman waving at me. She expressed that she had attended a large event that I had spoke at earlier in the month. While making small talk she asked me if I happened to know anyone looking for a job? She gave me the specifics of the job and to both of our surprise I said, "YES". I told her about my friend and how she performed similar tasks at her last company and how she might be a perfect fit. The woman gave me her card and asked me to have send a resume right away. By day end, my friend had an interview set up.
The morning of the interview, my friend texted me thanking me for the introduction and I told her I was excited to hear all about it after the interview. Later that afternoon I got a text message from her saying that the interview went well but she had a funny story to tell me. Of course, I called her right away.
When she answered the phone she was laughing hysterically. She expressed that she liked the hiring manager and felt she could perform 90-95% of the responsibilities with ease. She then told me that as she was walking to her car she was attacked by a bee. She said, "It stung me, right on the chin! Now my chin is swollen and I look like a crazy person. It is a good thing this happened after the interview and not before". I too was now laughing and said, "What do you think that means?" Before she answered, I said jokingly, "Do you think it means you are allergic to the job?" She responded, "I don't know...maybe. Or maybe it means that sometimes life stings you and it is painful but it is about how you respond to the pain." Her response threw me for a whirlwind because that thought had never even occurred to me.
I had just been reading Jon Gordon's book "The Energy Bus" where he talks about perception. He says, "event+perception=outcome". From my perspective, I looked at it as a reason she should not take the job. But friend who is naturally optimistic looked at it as a reason she should take the job. It made me realize that events happen in life and we decide our perception. Do we look at it through the lens of optimism or pessimism? Do we see ourself as victims of circumstances or do we see opportunity?
My challenge for you this week, is to look at potential obstacles through multiple lenses of perception. Ask yourself, is there a different way to look at it and how could it impact the end result? We all have times in life when we feel like like we got stung in the face, but what is important to remember is that it is not the event that matters most but the way we decide to respond to it.