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I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What Rejection Really Means/ How Small Wins Make A Big Difference

Aug. 25, 2015 What Rejection Really Means: I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on July 30, 2012:

For most, rejection is a horribly uncomfortable thing. Even the thought of it makes us uneasy. This permeates our everyday life in so many ways and regularly affects how we make decisions. The goal is to avoid rejection and we work back from there.

Yet, if you’re not getting rejected it probably means you’re not aiming high enough. When it comes to careers, we’ve all been through interviews where we didn’t land the job or didn’t even receive a call back. This is more constructive than you might imagine.

When you’re rejected, there’s a suggestion that the other party doesn’t see a fit. It may not be obvious to you, but perhaps they’re right. If it’s not a fit for both, chances are it won’t be a great long term fit even if you are successful in landing it. Therefore everyone is better off.

How many of the applications that you’ve submitted over the years can you honestly point back to and say “I wish I’d got that one” or do you feel like it probably worked out for the best in the end?  What’s more, rejection is great experience for your career. Each and every profession has a certain amount of rejection “baked in” – whether you’re a not-profit applying for funding, a business development executive pitching to clients, or an entrepreneur looking to raise money. The reality is that rejection is a part of everyday life. Get used to it.

Rejection is also an essential step to building something valuable. You’re learning, you’re growing, and pushing yourself to improve and do more. Winston Churchill once famously said: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”.

Those who aren’t being rejected simply aren’t trying hard enough.  We need to accept rejection for what it is – an essential step towards meeting our goals and a sure sign that we’re aiming high enough. 

Comments (1)

Laszlo ErdosyJuly 17, 2012, 07:58 AM:   Been there too often as an engineer. Five times I believe. Some where expected, others weren’t. In the end it is always the same thing; you don’t fit in. Tough, find somewhere that you do. It may take time; you may need to upstate, or something else. The world will not end. I once got booted after getting a letter of reference for a mortgage. That was a doozie, but afterwards I got two offers. So there is a silver lining always; just try and find it.

Oct. 25, 2015: I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Sept. 24, 2012:  

There’s a temptation to always look for quantum leaps in progress. We tend to be hard on ourselves when we feel as though we haven’t reached the pinnacle of the tower we’re trying to climb or can’t see any ‘big wins’ on the horizon.

Yet, progress is rarely achieved in quantum leaps; actually, not even great leaps. Rather, progress is slow and consistent. Steve Jobs had a term for small wins – he called it “connecting the dots”. In his well-publicized Commencement address to the 2005 Stanford graduating class he said that “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” Each dot is a small win and only looking back can you see how it all fits into a big win.

By focusing on small wins, we afford ourselves a number of advantages. Firstly, it’s easier to stay focused and motivated. If all we set are huge goals and we don’t hit them as quickly as planned, it can be incredibly de-motivating. When you break things into their smaller parts it’s far easier to see the progress you’re making, which is incredibly motivating.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it leaves room for iteration. While we may have a single goal in mind, there are likely multiple ways of getting there (some easier than others). In manageable parts, we can quickly tell what works and what doesn’t and proceed on that basis.
Therefore it’s the small wins we should be focused on to make the biggest difference. In order to do this better, Harvard Business Professor and author of The Progress Principle, Teresa Amabile, suggests keeping a professional journal in order to track and record the challenges, wins, and obstacles you come across in your daily career. By keeping a running record you can quickly look back and track the progress you’ve made as well as use past experiences to solve the new challenges ahead.

Feb. 15, 2016 "Linear path may not be the best career path": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Feb. 4, 2013:

We like to follow the path of least resistance.  We instinctively gravitate to something that offers the easier way within a given set of choices.

Yet, we're all aware that life is rarely a linear path and -more often than not- the best and most fulfilling choice is rarely the easiest one.

If the easiest choice was always the right one, we'd rarely make any mistakes.  If you look at the careers of some of those you admire, you'll often fine a host of difficult decisions and a fair share of disappointments along their way.

Steve Jobs famously said it was only when looking back at his career that he could connect the dots, it's impossible to do so looking forward.

For Jobs, the decision to drop out of college would have been more difficult than simply remaining in school.  Yet, he maintained that much of what we now know and love about the Apple line of products came from the time he took to explore other avenues after dropping out.  There's a chance he may never have founded Apple if he'd stayed.

Another example of a nonlinear career is that of Elon Musk, the co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal, and the founder of SpaceX.  The latter just became the first privately held company to deliver a cargo payload to the International Space Station.

After selling Paypal to eBay, it would have been easy to simply envelope himself in his new-found success.  Rather, he invested his time on perhaps two of the riskiest businesses on the planet: electric cars and space exploration.

When your career is linear, the choices and opportunities will be predictable and relatively uneventful.  Sometimes the tough choices will yield the biggest returns, don't shy away from them.

"Why success is a catalyst for failure": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Aug. 20, 2012:

"As you progress through your career, you're going to be presented with a variety of different options and opportunities .  Be discerning when it comes to making a change; don't simply make a choice based on a modest salary increase or promotion.  If you don't think it's going to get you where you want to be in the long run you might be passing up other opportunities you don't even know about yet."

"Value what you do, not how much you get paid": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Nov. 26, 2012:

It mentioned: "If you're being paid a high salary you must be doing something valuable."

My opinion: That's not always the case.  For example, being an actor.  An actor can get paid really well in this movie, but is this movie that valuable?  I'm sure there are a lot of movies out there where people found it to be inspiring and motivating and it changed their life.

"Yet doing something valuable on behalf of a company is not the same as doing something of value to you and those around you."

Value vs. money- how important is this going to help you in the future than the monetary pay off.

Need vs. want

Short-term vs. long term- there is short- term pay off, but the long-term focus of where you want to go.
Mar. 30, 2016 "Balance wild leaps and small steps to get ahead": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Mar. 4, 2013.

"A single experiment that succeeds can transform our lives for the better in a way that a failed experiment will not transform them for the worse." -Tim Harford

I can't find the article so I will summarize about Tim Harford's book called Adapt where we are encouraged to try out  careers.  We need to balance our wild leaps with small steps in order to create an environment to successfully experiment.

There is "disciplined pluralism" by John Kay in The Truth about Markets.

Harford: "Disciplined pluralism as exploring many new ideas but ruthlessly cutting down the ones that fail, whether they are brand new or hundreds of years old."

Ryan: "...pluralism and diversity are important elements in making serendipitous connections."

A leap is significant like quitting your job to start your own business.

Some people like Mark Twain completed good work after 40 yrs old.

"They took the small steps to improve and adapt, with much the same result."

"Explore as much as you can, while ruthlessly discarding the ideas and experiments that don't work."


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