Opening Doors

P1170313croppedAs you’ve noticed, Facebook can consume enormous amounts of your free time. There are always new posts to consider – status updates about where an acquaintance is having coffee, crazy cat videos, quizzes to help you discover “what you were in your past life,” tons of recommendations for connections with people you may know since you share mutual “friends.”

But sometimes a post can get you thinking as one recently did for me. Our publisher, Fuze, included a photo on Facebook that actor Chris Meloni had placed on his page. It was an image of a door with these words:

When one door closes, another opens. Or you can open the closed door. That’s how doors work.

Reading it stopped me from moving my cursor down the page as I considered the reality of these few simple words. Whether you feel locked in or locked out, you’re free to grab that doorknob and fashion your own opening. Here are some tips for you, whether you push or pull:

Use your initiative. Rather than passively waiting for an opportunity – If someone would help me get my foot in the door – take it upon yourself to create one. Brainstorm about both your options and how you can implement each of them. Then choose one and give it a try. If it doesn’t work out the way you expected, be flexible and use another.

Take a chance. Be willing to be surprised. Sometimes we get so stuck in a rut that we begin to believe it’s the only way to go. In the past, you may have been stopped in your tracks and defeated when you think the door was slammed in my face. Searching for adventure can be frightening but expanding our horizons can also be invigorating – and we always learn something in the process.

Improvise. Creativity is not only about being able to paint or write poetry or play clarinet in a jam session. It’s also about trusting yourself to face the challenges life throws at you and come up with solutions that move you forward. The more often you flex your problem-solving muscles, the greater strength you’ll have in generating unique results. As comedian Milton Berle put it: If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Eighty-five years ago, Helen Keller wrote: When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. I believe she would have approved of the additional sentences above about releasing that door our selves. She certainly put in long and hard hours to create her own new openings and walk proudly and confidently through them. How about you?

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