The detours of life

“The truth is, everything that has happened in my life…that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better,” Buffett said. “You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.”

This was a statement from one of the wealthiest persons in the world, Warren Buffet.  It is also a very true statement.  When we stare defeat in the face, it is sometimes frightens us.  It completely shakes up our equilibrium.  But eventually we will realize that it worked out.

Your response will determine your trajectory


We have all had those stumbles in life where it seemed like the end of the world.  We were so devastated that we were denied.  Looking back on my life I have come to the conclusion that your response to a setback will determine your trajectory.  How far you will move on from that point is determined by how you react to it.  Respond in a positive manner and you are making steps to try it again with a different approach.  Approach it from a negative mindset and you waste valuable time and energy instead of moving on.  It is only a detour and you should treat it as such.


My father’s favorite saying was “you can’t blame a person for being down, but you can blame them for staying down.”  That’s life.


We have prepared for interviews, we have researched the company, and we have made contacts within.  We covered all bases but in the final analysis someone else was picked.  We got the letter, phone call or email and it rocked our world.  Some would respond to that by moving on while others would gradually fall into a state of depression.  That could be because we desperately needed a job or just wanted so bad to get out of their present circumstances.

It is their loss


I remember going on a job interview for a well known company and I could almost taste the job.  Interviews went well, friends in the industry said they had checked me out but in the end I did not get it.  When I came home that night my daughter, who was in 8th grade at the time, asked me what happened.  As I told her the story, she could sense the hurt in my voice.  Her response put it in perspective.  Her statement in a few words captured and reframed my dilemma.  She said, ““Dad it is their lost not yours”.

I look at this little girl and she is giving me a mental uplift.  That statement I have never forgotten.  When I give speeches, it comes into the narrative from time to time.  That changed my behavior from that point on.  From that point on if I pursued a job and it did not happen, I chalked it up as their loss.

If we would go back through every defeat we have had, and measure where we are now, most likely we will see that it did work out for the best.  Even if you can’t acknowledge it at this point, eventually you would see the benefits of it not happening.  You have to adopt the attitude that things happen for a reason.  There is a reason behind it now working out and in the end it will show itself.


We all have friends that lost jobs during the financial calamity a few years back.  Some responded by getting a chance to reset their careers while some wallowed in sorrow.  But in the end you have to get back up because you have no choice.  Some of those same friends still recite how it happened and how unfair it was.  My response is how many times are you going to tell that story.  How soon before you going to move forward and forget about it.  Remember response determines trajectory.


Ann Landers once said “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.

Truth is some of us love to wallow in our sorrow.  We all know them because as soon as the conversation starts, they bemoan their current jobs and how they hate it.  My comeback is always the same.  So what is your plan to get out, walk me through the steps you are taking to make this career change?  That is normally when the silence and excuses start.

If you let go and really pursue your dream, you would not give a second thought to what happened in the past because you would be so busy getting ready for your new start.  This approach works because it clears out the cobwebs of negativity and fear.  The time spent retelling, being negative could be better spent working on your various approaches to moving to the future state [consultant speak].  The gap between your current and future is what you have to close.  That is what we call the gap analysis.

Our life is about moving from point A to Point B.  We all have to choose our own destination and move towards it.  Detour signs will always litter the roadway.  However the person that swerves and goes around those sign will reach that destination.


When they do they will reflect back on the journey and realize that each detour was there for a reason.

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