New Doors for the New Year
“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” — Tom Stoppard
Doors serve two purposes. They keep things in or they keep things out. No one ever put a door in a wall because it looked nice, although I have seen some houses where doors actually lead nowhere. That’s a study for another time. So for the most part, two purposes.But, having said that, doors are pretty amazing things if you stop to think about them. You can learn a lot about people, history, ideas, behavior, feelings, and so many other things by just looking at a door.
Doors represent many things to many people. They represent security, beauty, approachability, fear, closure, opportunity, knowledge, wealth, ability, harmony, social interaction, anger, secrecy, openness, challenge, and even awareness.
If doors could talk, what amazing stories they could tell. Stories about history and the people who made it. Stories about families — where they’ve been and where they’re going. Stories about society and the people who have been kept in and kept out. Stories about opportunities not yet realized. Stories about work, effort, and care from the first time a door was installed to the last time it was painted and all the things done to it in between. All of these doors have a story as to why they are what they are. And what they are says so much about us and our view of society and the world in general.
Sometimes we put doors up in front of us to keep others out. These are doors of our mind and they are not ornate or beautiful, they are big, hard, soundproof, and seemingly impenetrable.
As we enter 2017, instead of taking time to establish New Year’s resolutions which you will never keep, take some time to think about the many doors that you have interacted with in your life. Because whether your door experiences turned out good or bad for you, they have made you what you are today.
Every door you have ever encountered was an opportunity and what you did with that opportunity has influenced your interactions with others, decisions you have made, how you treat people, what causes you are passionate about, and what you hope your future will be. Every door you’ve gone through was a decision point and an opportunity. Every door you couldn’t get open was a decision point and an opportunity. Every door has brought you to where you are now and come 2017 you will be offered new opportunities to go through many new and different doors and when some doors close behind you, not far in front there will be another opened up for you.
So as you are thinking about the doors you’ve encountered try and remember details about each of them. What about the invisible doors was memorable? What about the real doors struck you and why? Remember the details because that’s an indication that you were paying attention to the interaction, the encounter, the opportunity. Remember, experience comes from bad judgment but remembering the details will help you remember the decision process which led to the bad judgment. Bad judgment is an experience builder and the more experience you have, the more valuable you are.
But, if you can’t remember any of the details, then this is an indication that you’ve made decisions without really paying attention, weighing the good or the bad, identifying all the angles or at least some. The bad judgment came from a snap decision where whether it turned out good or bad, nothing was really learned. And if nothing was learned, what was the point of the opportunity in the first place.
Now, think about what doors you may encounter in 2017! What are your hopes and dreams? What doors are you hoping will open up for you and what doors are you going to open for others? Are there any invisible doors that you currently have closed that need to be opened? What doors will be closing in 2017 and where will that exit lead? What doors are currently locked to you and how can you find the keys to open them? As you’re thinking of these doors, imagine what they look like. Are they ornate or plain? Do they have a lot of locks on them or a simple door knob? Do they swing in or swing out or are they revolving?
And as you move into 2017, as you begin to encounter these doors of opportunity, of closures and new beginnings, remember the details. Remember the journey up to and through the door. Remember the good and the bad for all these continue to mold you into the kind of person you are and want to be. Celebrate the victories. Mourn the losses. Then move on.
Your next door of opportunity is right there in front of you. It has a big giant 2017 sign on it. Go ahead, try the knob.
About the Author — Ron Feher is the Chief Improvement Officer at WhiteRock Business Solutions whose mission is to help make small businesses better by making their people better. WhiteRock’s service offerings include Executive Coaching, Manager Mentoring, Candidate/Job Matching, staff/team development, executive and staff recruiting, and career coaching. Ron is a certified professional analyst with TTI Success Insights® and Career Direct, utilizing their assessments to help hire, coach, mentor, and retain top talent and improve team effectiveness and efficiency. WhiteRock is located in Orange County, California and can be found at www.whiterockbusiness.net; or contact Ron (www.linkedin.com/in/ronaldafeher) directly at email@example.com (949-466-0943). @RonFeher