Life as a chain of rejections

Today it stroke me that in any given area in life we are bound to receive more rejections than “yes’es”. Whether you’re applying for an admission to a school, for a job, to a literary agent to consider your manuscript or even trying to get a date, an average person will get dozens or even hundreds of “no’s” before that one human on the other end comes along and accepts their offer.

Since our lives are basically built on tons of rejections, why does it hurt so much every time we receive one? Shouldn’t we at some point get used to the idea that we are bound to get rejected multiple times on our way? Isn’t it, in the end, that one “yes”, that single acceptance letter that really matters? When we come to think of it, there are countless more and less serious reasons why people reject us. It is impossible to find all of them out and, more importantly, more often than not it’s pretty much pointless.

Relating to the idea of acceptance of suffering present in Buddhism, our lives can become easier and happier once we accept the phenomenon of rejection and even go as far as expect it to happen. If we see it as something inevitable and not so important, just another step on the journey to ultimate success, we will find ourselves calmer and more motivated to continue pursuing our goals. And since in most matters, it’s just a numbers’ game, continuing to try will most likely lead us to eventual success.

This is not to say, that this is the only true way of looking at things. However, ultimately how we look at our lives shapes our experience. If we choose to look at life from a positive perspective, our experience will feel more pleasant. If we, however, choose to look at the negative side (and to everything, there exist both), our experience of life and its events will feel dark and unfair. Consequently, regardless of circumstances, it’s in the end your choice that shapes how you feel.

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