Sometimes the worst thing that happens to you can turn out to be the best thing. I think we all recognize that but when one is in the moment it is hard to think that way. One of my worst moments came 43 years ago when I was just graduating from college. My girlfriend got pregnant! Yes, we had planned to get married anyway but we hadn’t made any plans or talked with our parents about it. When we went see her parents and tell them our problem it wasn’t pretty. They were old fashioned, prim and proper people and I think were more embarrassed than upset. Plus their daughter was going to marry a hick from a small town in Minnesota who they knew very little of. Fortunately for me my father was more understanding and wanted to be a grandpa so badly it didn’t matter! But my in laws were very concerned about our future. Her father even hinted at an abortion as that would have been a nice, clean solution to sweep the dirt under the rug. My wife wouldn’t hear of it, she really likes kids………still does.
So what was the good part? Well, I was a classic underachiever in school and got very poor grades, a 1.95 grade point in college! Getting my first job was a big challenge but I finally got one in public accounting, my chosen field at that time. Then it “rained” again, I got laid off in a year. Now my in laws were convinced their daughter was in trouble! Looking back I don’t blame them. Now I had to figure some things out if I was going to support my family. So I did. I got a job in banking, a field that I was never interested in. But I set out to prove I could do things starting with passing the CPA exam which gave me the academic credential I needed. I went on in banking in many areas eventually as president of a subsidiary for the bank. My motivation was to prove my self to my “stakeholders” and to myself that I could be successful. It may have been negative motivation but it worked!
I often wonder what I would have accomplished if I hadn’t had to be successful. Oh, and we had another daughter too and we love them both dearly. They are now successful in their own rite and we have a very happy family!