Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The opportunity of setbacks

Dealing with setbacks is never easy but we should not let them overwhelm and derail us from our goals. One way to look at these obstacles is as tests of how important our goals are to us. We need to meet these challenges head on, to push forward and find ways to overcome. This is not easy, we have built up a head of steam and find ourselves slamming in to a wall at top speed, but like a cartoon coyote we have to peel our selves off the wall and start looking for a way around our through the barrier.

I have recently hit a wall like that. I have been trying to get in to the San Francisco state Journalism program but it is impacted, limiting it to 600 students. I found out late last week that I was not accepted for fall semester and I will have to wait a year to try again. While this is disheartening I have found that there are opportunities at my current school to give me a better chance of getting in next year. The plan now is to continue my journalism education at the junior college while working on the school paper.

Setbacks can also be opportunities to assess the value of what we are working towards. When things are going well and one action fallows another without any hardship it is easy to just plow ahead, letting momentum carry us. Without setbacks we do not have time to look up and take stock of where we are. Is what we are doing still what we want to do? This is not an excuse to give up just because things get hard; we have to be honest with ourselves and decide if the cores we are on is the right one. If it is we rededicate ourselves to the work we are doing and find our way past the wall. If not we change our cores and find a new way to reach our goals.

Either way we should not let setbacks distract us from our goals; they are nothing more than times and places where we must reassess what we are doing and why. We see what is working and what is not working then we change our approach accordingly and press on.