Missing One Train Doesn’t Mean You Have To Miss The Rest

April 4, 2018

Things that happen in our lives shape who we are and what we are as people. And the responsibility for what happens to us is almost always our own. After all, we go through life making choices. At work, in the home, with friends… Why not take a second right now to think about how many decisions you make every day?

We’re constantly choosing between options. Once we’ve gotten a bit of life experience, we can all clearly remember times when it seemed like the world stopped as we decided yes or no.

After you “miss” the train

The dice are cast, and when things go badly there are a lot of ways you can respond. You can point the finger outwards or inwards, or blame karma or bad luck.

“I said no because you told me to,” “I didn’t go to the interview because you made me lose my confidence,” “I didn’t have the courage…” So you get into a mental loop, stuck in a place where all you do is complain about your missed opportunity. 

After you miss out on an opportunity, the next step is to take responsibility for your decision. Analyze things and deal with the negative emotions that come from your choice. The people around you might give their opinions and tell you what they think about it. Granted, they have the right to tell you their opinion, but not to judge you.

Missed opportunity, a woman walking on the train tracks.

The important thing is to look at where you are now and focus on that. If you just watch the train go off into the horizon, you’ll feel things from the past and you can’t change those. That’s how you’ll end up filling your present with negatively charged emotions, like sadness.

But the worst part about focusing on things you can’t change isn’t the emotions. The worst part is that when you get stuck there, you can’t see the new opportunities that are just as good or even better than the ones you missed out on. 

One and only?

If you’re an iffy, indecisive person, you’ll overthink these crucial moments. If everything around you depends on your response to something, your thoughts will fly and your emotions will take over. But you can take control of reality and reorient yourself with wisdom. Look at these inspiring pieces of wisdom from pop culture.

  • “You create your opportunities by asking for them.” Shakti Gawain.
  • “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” Benjamin Franklin.
  • “Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” William Arthur Ward.
  • “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.” Winston Churchill.

There’s something all of these have in common. They all talk about “opportunities” as a plural. 

But, on the other hand, the world has told you at some point that you only get one opportunity for some things. Maybe someone told you that to push you to make a choice. But… be careful. This social pressure might paralyze you and block you up when it comes to making a decision.

Your big opportunity may be right where you are right now

Napoleon Hill wrote those words. He was one of the first self-help authors. This thought, though it doesn’t work for everyone or every situation, is still a good starting point. Missing a train — an opportunity — isn’t the end of the world. But it will turn into an agonizingly long waiting period if you just standing there and watch the trains as they leave instead of looking for the ones that are arriving. 

Even with a missed opportunity you still have:

  • The options you’ve considered.
  • The advice you’ve listened to.
  • The value you give to your own decision.
  • The ability to take responsibility for your actions.
  • The ability to rebuild after a feeling of emptiness and missing out.
  • The lesson you’ve learned.
  • The chance to look forward to what you’ll do in a similar situation in the future.
A woman in a wheat field.

We all miss trains. Sometimes it’s because you choose a different one, or because you get distracted and don’t get there on time. Or it’s because you trip when you to get on, or because you were asleep when it went by early in the morning.

But remember: the important thing isn’t the train that’s leaving, it’s the thing that stays with you once the train is gone, and what you do with it afterwards.