Embracing the Unpredictable: Overcoming Life’s Lows with Hope and Courage

“When things go wrong, don't go with them.”― Elvis Presley

According to Pyschcentral, the feeling of an impending end and loss of hope is a natural reaction. Hopelessness is how most people react to shocking incidents.

So, whenever you find yourself thinking all is over, remind yourself that many have been through worse. and have come out of it.

In this short expose, I will be sharing my life experience, a journey that took me to too many ends. However, as you would come to see, I came out more experienced, and better, every time.

All I have written here is me trying to show you that “it is not over for you, as long as you keep the faith.” Whenever you feel depressed, come back to this article. Better yet, look at your own story and remember “this too shall pass”.

Embracing the Unpredictable

Where It All Began

I started my career in 2007 in a steel company situated in Karnataka India. This was a dream job, straight out of College, where I studied Engineering.

It was a wonderful time. For the first time in my life, I made a lot of money (it was a lot for me). Life was good. I was living comfortably and had enough to stay late nights at bars. The climate was good. I made lots of friends there with similar ambitions and struggles.

Unfortunately, 2 years into my job, in 2009, everything came to a screeching halt. It seemed as though someone opened Pandora's box on the entire world. There was despair everywhere.

People were losing jobs globally. Those who could secure their jobs had to accept over 50-70% pay cuts. In India, conditions were not different. People lived in constant fear of losing their job.

My First Experience

At the height of the economic crisis of 2009, I decided to get married. Everyone I shared my aspirations with questioned me. Are you serious? Are you going to keep your job? How do you intend to take care of your home?

These questions cast a cloud on my hope. However, I was intent, as getting married was the most important to me. Away on one of my vacations, I decided to take the bull by the horn, I got married.

Note that my decision to marry was not built on the delusion that thighs were okay. But, I only chose to live life despite the reality.

According to Jerome Groopman, in his book, “Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion.”

I returned to my job on Monday 9th March 2009. Nothing had changed. People were still being laid off, and others like me were uncertain about the future.

Today, 6th November 2023, as I write this article, the economy isn't really much to write home about, The stock market is unstable, companies are downsizing and a lot of people are uncertain of their future. 

If I had waited, or postponed my wedding plans till a favorable time, perhaps I wouldn’t be married. Between 2009 and now, the economy has been up and down. Things have been good as well as bad.

What I have learned so far, is that many have become casualties of their negative expectations. Hoping for the best is always the best strategy. Times will always change, but more importantly, bad times never last long.

Experience 2

“Fear defeats more people than any other thing in the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I resigned from my job and joined a company that was not as healthy financially as my previous company but It offered me a better salary.

This new job was also closer to my home town (another added advantage). During the first few months of joining this new company, everything went well. But, after a year of joining, I realized I was not going to get any bonus or increment.

The poor finances of the company also became clearer. They were heavily indebted which began to affect the payment of salaries. It became obvious, my reasons for joining this new company were wrong.

I had to leave. I became depressed and full of fear. It looked like I had no option left but to resign or wait to be laid off. The stakes were higher this time, as I was now married.

Fortunately, one day, I got a call that there was an urgent opening in a very good company and my profile matched the vacancy. If I agreed, they would submit my profile for the job.

Of course, I gave the go-ahead. I was soon shortlisted for an interview. I passed and I got the job with a more than 60% salary hike.

It was my 2nd job change in 2 years and I had already doubled my salary. I did not expect such a good job offer in only 2 years. I was very happy. And again I experienced the joy of trying and fulfilling my dreams.

From this experience, I learned a second lesson. The feeling of lost hope is not a reflection of reality. Things do not always end up bad. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

According to the great actor, Will Smith, “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. The danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

Experience 3;

There is a common belief that after working for some time in a setup it becomes quite tough to get another job. I believed this wholeheartedly, so much that at one point it became my most dominant thought.

At this stage of my life, I wanted to change my job. I felt highly insecure. My biggest fear was losing my job, and sitting at home doing nothing.

Once again, I got an interview call from a company I have always wanted to work for a long time. It was a dream company for me.

Some of my known seniors and colleagues had attended their interview in the past but nobody got the offer. I was not sure whether I would be selected.

But, I cleared it with a handsome salary package.
However, this good news did not last as the company wanted to transfer me to a remote location I was not comfortable going. I had to reject the job offer. This was a company I had always wanted. The opportunity came, but because of location issues, I turned it down.

Again negative feelings started haunting me. And it looked like I would not get another job offer. Not too long, I got an offer from a well-known company.
The management had already shortlisted my resume for further processing. And I had to attend the interview. The interview day came and I attended it. They only needed a candidate.

After an hour of the interview, I was invited as the only candidate to attend the final round of the Interview. At the end of the day, I was finally selected.

These stories are not to glorify me, I am not special, and there are billions of people with similar stories.

My goal is to help you see that what you call a “low point” in your life is not real. Yes, it feels real and you can physically touch it, but it is so because you have called it so.

The best way to handle moments like these is to simply breathe and watch the storm pass.

And if ever you think that you're the only one who is going through those moments then remember James Dyson also passed through those moments. He was rejected more than you can count in all his attempts. But, if he quit. Will you know about him? Never. He will not be as famous as he is now.

And here is none other than Stephen King; one of the most popular books, Carrie was rejected by over 30 publishers. What if he stopped trying? Probably we could never know about him.

We are all surrounded by people at different levels of their success story and what they all have in common is the ability to keep living irrespective of the so-called “lows” of life.

Conclusion;

Accepting success is also the same as accepting all that characterizes life. And, life is not a bed of roses, but instead a mixture of experiences we all must be open towards. There is choosing, but accepting what we see and use it for our good.

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