I recently read The Book of Joy in which the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu share how to find joy. That may sound hokey, but it’s a book loaded with lessons for work.
One that resonated with me was the idea that every time you suffer, there is an opportunity to be gained as a result. The Dalai Lama was exiled from his homeland but as a result he got to travel, be less formal, and meet new people. When something goes poorly at work, are there opportunities that open up as a result? The most common may be learning, and we should always take the opportunity to learn from mistakes.
Less obvious are missed opportunities that open doors: We lose a big sale but gain a smaller customer that inspires a new idea. A product fails, allowing resources to be redeployed into creative pursuits. Although there is disagreement over details surrounding invention of the sticky note, all accounts agree that it was an accidental invention when the development of a stronger adhesive failed and that it took years for 3M to package weak adhesive strips into the now ubiquitous product.
Think about a disappointment at work. What opportunities came out of that disappointment and how can this affect the way we face disappointment in the future?