There Are No Setbacks

A friend of mine once got me thinking when he told me that even if he loses at playing Texas Hold ‘Em, he still comes out ahead, because he treats every “loss” as a learning experience.

I decided to give that attitude a try. As I was out for a walk one day, the thought came to my mind…

There are no setbacks, only learning opportunities.

Of course, this is a very easy thought to have when you’re out for a stroll on a beautiful day and everything seems to be going your way. I wondered if I would still have that attitude when things started to get challenging.

It didn’t take too long to put this thought process to the test.

About a day later I decided that I just might have enough time before I needed to be at my teaching job to drive to a very remote part of town to pick up a piece of window hardware for our bathroom window. I really didn’t want to drive there, because I’d never been to that part of town before, it wasn’t near any expressways, and therefore I wasn’t sure how long it would take. Plus, it was in a bad neighborhood, it was in the completely opposite direction of where I needed to be, and, on top of it all, the check engine light in my car had been on for several days, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be driving in this rough part of town in the event that my car would break down.

Being the adventuresome spirit that I am, and with really no other option, I decided to give it a go. I called before I left to confirm the address and to make sure they had the part I was looking for. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way enough times already!

As I approached the address that I thought I was looking for, I noticed there was no such business at that address. I pulled over and called the store again. Thank God for recent phone numbers being stored in your cell phone!

When I called, the gal on the phone assured me that I had the right address. I just didn’t have the right city!

I had never even heard of the city she said she was in. She gave me some cross streets, and I realized that I had to go much further out of my way then I had realized. I didn’t know what to do. Should I still try to make it? Would I have time? I wish I had known this before I had left!!! I could’ve saved so much time, and I wouldn’t have had to come to this frightening part of town! What a SETBACK!

As I ventured hesitantly on, my thought returned to me…

There are no setbacks, only learning opportunities.

Then you start to argue with yourself: “How is this NOT a setback?” I have to admit, though, that just thinking this thought was helpful. It helped calm me down, which, in turn, made me drive a little safer and a little more patiently.

The lesson I learned; always know exactly where you’re going when you’re going some place you’ve never been before. Who knows how this lesson may save me in the future?

The great part of the story is that I got the part I needed, and, since the store was located next to an expressway, I was able to get to my teaching job in plenty of time.

See, I did come out ahead in the long run. Plus, I had quite an adventure besides.

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About stevepederson

I am a speaker, author, musician, coach, teacher and web designer. I love nature, photography, exercise and combining these elements when I can.
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One Response to There Are No Setbacks

  1. alanallard says:

    Steve, love the story and the lessons learned. Keep writing, you have a gift for taking every day happenings and sharing great insights!

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