A Difference in Attitude

In my day job we’ve just done a small recruitment drive. As I imagine is the case with any creative industries jobs, we receive a lot (hundreds) of applications and therefore have to disappoint a lot of people.

The day after we received a few emails in response to the ‘rejection letter’ and something really interesting happened. We received one angry indignant email, one sarcastic email and one email “thanking [us] for the kind message”. All these people were sent the same email. It made me marvel that the same message could evoke such different feelings, such a difference in attitude between these people!

Then I recently read this recounting of losing her brother by Leonie Dawson. I marvelled at how she talks about ‘the treasures of the tsunami’. Basically the good things that come out of a painful experience. Similar to the first email we received, my reactions to difficult things in my life have always been on the angry indignant side. I had never considered that a different attitude was even possible, especially not with the most painful and difficult things in life.

I’m trying to insert this new attitude into my life. It’s not simply a question of ‘thinking positively’ (that suggestion can actually really piss my off when I’m in the throes of negativity!) but rather trying not to see things in black and white. Sitting with things a while and considering the whole picture, conflicting feelings and all.

It’s so valuable.

Sorry this post is a bit vague! But the thing that happened with the emails made such an impact on me, I was thinking about it for weeks, so I wanted to share this learning and I hope it resonates with you too.

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Comments

  1. I can’t believe that people wrote back with such responses. I mean, I understand maybe being upset or any other feeling, but to respond to a potential employer with anything but thanks? Way to burn bridges!

  2. Very thoughtful article. Applied it to a situation that I just experienced at my grandson’s football game last week. There were a lot of things that went wrong in the game along with coaching errors, major referee irresponsibility, and adults not teaching younger adults how to deal with adversity. It is not always the other person’s fault. Accountability is so hard to find in dealing with today’s youth. These young men have seen their fellow team members killed, friends shot, and they need to hear that life in most instances is training ground. I needed to remind myself about it.

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