I discovered Lee Child's Jack Reacher thriller series this spring, and, unusually for me, read three in a row . . . in part because they were so good, and in another part to try to find why they were so unusually gripping.
Turns out that Lee Child hadn't always been writing thrillers--- fact is, he took it up only after being laid off unexpectedly from a job he loved, and had expected to hold till he retired. This from his article in Parade Magazine last Sunday. http://www.parade.com/news/2009/07/26-my-good-life-after-being-fired.html Here's how he put it, and I think that resonates with a lot of readers of this blog:
"For 13 more years, I was happy as a clam.
"Then the management changed.
"We were always profitable, but the new guys wanted more. They got it by cutting costs to the bone. I was a cost. I got cut.
"I felt a lot of things. First, anger and frustration. My “family” was getting trashed. It was like watching an uncle getting kicked to death by a mob and being unable to intervene.
"Second, I felt betrayed. Not by the people I had worked for—they went in the very first wave. I felt betrayed by my own naiveté. The modern world had snuck up on me, and I hadn’t seen it coming. The rules had changed, and I hadn’t noticed. My fault, basically.
"Third, I felt scared. Remember that old saying, “one missed paycheck from disaster”? That was me."
He doesn't say in the article whether he ever wishes he had the old job back, but I kinda doubt it . . . not after that "tough break" propelled him into a new career with 13 best-sellers to date.
My point? Sometimes what seems like the worst thing can turn into the best thing that ever happened . . .if we're flexible and open. And if we can envision ourselves in a new role and sell that vision to others.