By now, some may know I am an avid reader of Presidential biographies. A few years back, I was looking for a new vein of reading material, and I found the nuggets of leadership styles and insights worth the read. I also found interesting lessons in our nation’s history. It is always interesting to ponder ‘what if’?
Recently, while reading about our first Commander-in-chief and President, George Washington, I stumbled upon on such ‘what if’. Unlike another famous president and general, Ulysses Grant, George Washington always held a desire for military service. He served as an officer for the colonial militia in the French Indian war. One could even say he started the war, as his unit killed a French messenger bearing terms in an early skirmish. Although his success was limited during the war, he felt compelled to pursue a military career.
After the war, he journeyed to Boston on one trip, and Philadelphia on another, pursuing a commission in the British regular army. Both times, his request was rejected. A few years later , the Virginian as he would be called, led the colonial troops to victory over the British. I don’t know about you, but I am glad the British turned down his resume. The rest is history. President George Washington’s life and legacy by far eclipsed anything he could have hoped to obtain as an officer in the British regulars.
While we work and weave our way through life, we are never going to find acceptance at every turn. We will, on occasion, be met with rejection. It is often painful and disappointing. Rejection does however, often helps us to gain clearer focus, and apply ourselves more readily. But, what we cannot do is let it remove us from future opportunity. Tomorrow you just might find yourself thankful for yesterday’s rejection, that left you available for future success.
Embrace the journey, and be thankful in all things. Even rejection.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
written by James Anderson, Founder and Director of Expecting More Consulting