Lately I’ve been thinking about doors. From a real estate or design perspective clean, eye-catching doors make a great first impression and say come on in.
From a retail or business perspective they must be welcoming despite the height chart or security setup attached to them. From an accessibility perspective they must be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, have the automatic opener, and either be at ground level or reachable by ramp.
From a travel perspective, in older civilizations doors can be objects of art with centuries of stories to tell.
Doors are functional. Doors can have peepholes or seasonal decorations. They can be handcrafted or mass-produced. They can keep me in and you out. Or vice versa. But as much as all this is fascinating, It’s not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about the concept of doors opening. Or slamming shut. I want to talk about the art of spotting a door opening or being motivated enough to force it open.
Lately, for me and people around me, doors have been opening. And frankly, my lovelies, it takes courage to step through an open door, to say yes to an opportunity, to take on new challenges, to leave fear and doubt behind.
It takes something more?chutzpah, determination, balls??. . . to believe in yourself when you’ve got something, and just keep pounding on the door, because if you pound long enough, somebody is going to open it? (Cynthia Weil).
How about keeping it open though?
?If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open? (Pauline Kael).
How many of us lose people, things, or chances by not safeguarding what we’ve got?
Speaking of missed chances, Alexander Graham Bell said, ?Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.? we’re so distraught because of what we’re losing that we miss the red carpet, welcome mat, flashing lights, and wonderful treasure awaiting if only we dare step forward.
Who are we to believe when we’re not sure if we should pursue an opportunity or simply let it pass? Coco Chanel, who said ?don’t spend time beating on a wall hoping to transform it into a door??
Or Emerson, who said ?every wall is a door??
I’m now working as an employment counsellor, helping people get into the workforce through either job placement or workplace training. This position was an open door for me. Luckily I crossed the threshold. Many of our clients are people who, for a variety of reasons, aren’t able to see or open their own doors. That’s where we come in with hands-on help.
Gail Sheehy described that feeling of mastery: ?. . . what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills . . . and then sees the light under the new door those skills can open, even as another door is closing.?
All of this is much like working a combination lock. Only when everything is properly aligned does the door swing open.
Here are the numbers: Working every day of our lives to grow as individuals and build our skill sets is first. Noticing and creating and then seizing an opportunity is next. Last but not least is safeguarding what we have while being open to new possibilities.
Sometimes, the biggest challenge is deciding between the prize behind door number one, two, or three, from where I sit.