Have you experienced tragedies in your life? If yes, congratulations! It confirms that you are human! I wonder if you were one of those from outer space.
Tragedies come to us in different forms – mistakes, misses, rejections. They also come in varying intensity – small hurt, medium hurt, large hurt. At times, they come extra-large. Even those that are extra-small still hurt us.
But as I live my life and go through different forms and levels of tragedies, I realized that they can become treasurers. Yes, your tragedy can be your treasure.
Let me share with you three experiences that were painful to me but later led me into something precious.
First, I applied for the scholarship offered by the provincial government, I was not chosen.
I was about to enter college then and I was a bit worried where to source my education fund. My family was so helpful but we cannot deny that we were in lack. The friendly and supportive Ate Elnora shared with me the news that the provincial government is offering financial assistance to economically challenged yet deserving students.
“Apply for this. There is a big chance you will be accepted,” she said.
She helped me craft my application letter and prepare the necessary documents for the scholarship. You should have seen how impressive it was. But those did not matter anymore when I was told, “They chose the other applicant.”
I don’t mind him getting the scholarship because he also deserved it but I mind not getting one for myself. I was hurt.
Nevertheless, I had to continue with my plans and attended college. I looked for scholarship options. And because I had no choice, I just had to do my best in school so I would become an academic scholar. For several terms, I landed the Dean’s List – which means 30% off the tuition. At times, we made it as College Scholars – which means 100% off the tuition.
To someone looking for funds for school, that tragedy pushed me to study hard and find treasures in other vaults.
Second, I applied to become an accounting teacher at my Alma Mater, I was turned down.
I have passion for teaching. And people say I am skilled in it. But despite having the credentials and good professional relationship with the University where I graduated as cum laude, I did not make it.
“How could this be possible? They know my credentials. I was not just performing academically but also in leading student organizations,” I questioned why I was not accepted. But today I am thankful because after that rejection, I went back to work in Makati where I found a job in a multinational company, been a consistent top performer, and promoted as the youngest supervisor. Outside of work, I have met different prolific people who became good mentors and friends.
That tragedy led me to keep on working and find other treasures in other fields.
Third, I first delivered a seminar in a professional group in Bonifacio Global City, two of the participants said they should have invited a different speaker.
To speak professionally was just a dream then. And then came my first invitation to talk outside the group where I practice my speaking. I was so eager and excited. I prepared for it.
After the event, I requested for a copy of the evaluation. When the seemingly good evaluation came, it arrived with a sting! One said it was obvious that I was a beginner (that sounded like a pre-beginner) and another said that they should have invited a different speaker (that sounded like I had no business speaking to them at all). While only two of the forty plus participants said those, it stung! At a certain level, they were correct. Maybe I was trying to mimic someone else, I was not totally myself, and I had lots of papers in front to guide me as I go along.
But I also gave me heart and preparation for them. It was not fair. I did not understand.
However, that experience led me to push myself to prepare for every presentation I will give that I won’t have to depend on stacks of paper in front of me. That if I will present, I will be there fully present, giving my all.
To date, I have been giving talks and trainings with full heart and presence without being so dependent on any written script.
That experience of pain led me to grow in my skills and confidence. That tragedy led me to push myself hard to unearth a treasure I have to share.
What are you tragedies? What are your mistakes, misses and rejections? If you look at them, they have served in you ways you did not even expect. If you review your life events, your tragedies have become your treasures.
But how about the others? How those tragedies that do not even make sense? Even for me, there are tragedies that still don’t make sense to me. But I still believe that one day, they will make sense. They will become treasures.
If you don’t seem to see a treasure coming from them, then do something today so that your tragedy yesterday will become a treasure tomorrow. It was. It is. And it will be.
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, ACG, ALB is a speaker, trainer, and writer on personal and organizational leadership. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. For talks and trainings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chrispoweracademy.com. )