Since first starting the Accepted blog in March 2004. I have personally authored 2-3,000 posts on admissions, writing, school news, and occasionally something of a more personal nature, but still with relevance, however tangential, to applicants and admissions. My favorite post is my 2007 Thanksgiving post, a story of appreciation and gratitude.
The importance of appreciation hit me over the head last week when I received a call from a father whose son is graduating Stanford with a stellar GPA in a high demand field. (I have changed details in this story for confidentiality.)
The father called because his son has 6 job offers and wanted to know which one I thought would be better from an MBA admissions perspective. The job offers were from companies that many would give their eye teeth to work for– fantastic opportunities for growth and professional advancement with “brand” companies or boutique firms. BUT, the job that the son really wanted wasn’t among them. The father lamented his son’s fate, bemoaned how hard he has worked and echoed the son’s profound disappointment. I answered the father’s questions and then as the conversation came to a close
we had the following exchange.
Me: “It sounds to me like you son is a talented young man with lots of opportunities and a bright future.
The Dad: He doesn’t see it like that. He didn’t get the offer he wanted. None of those he received is perfect.
Me: They may not be perfect, but they may be good.
Isn’t it sad that instead of celebrating those six excellent offers in this tough, tough job market, both the son and the father are focused on the one that got away?
Are disappointments discouraging? Yes. Are they devastating? Not if you keep them in perspective by focusing on and appreciating what’s going right.
On this Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for a loving, healthy family and a thriving business. My mother, the subject of that favorite Thanksgiving blog post, is celebrating her 80th birthday this weekend. One daughter is expecting her third child, and one is enjoying her 10-month old baby. Our younger son married in August, and we are preparing for our eldest son’s wedding in March. We count our blessings and are immensely thankful.
What are you thankful for?