Do transitions have to be battlegrounds?

In Parker Palmer’s, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, he talks about the “shadows” in our life that get in the way of healthy outlooks, satisfaction and reaching our goals. The battleground with its win-lose ultimatum is one “shadow” and seems to dominates our society. Leo Durocher, long time manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers said, “Nice guys finish last” and Vince Lombardi, perhaps the most famous football coach ever, is famous for his credo, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

This may be a necessary philosophy if your only goal is to win championships where inflated salaries and fickle fan support hang in the balance. Probably not that helpful, however, in situations where compromise and finding middle ground is essential for success–or survival.

When we don’t get that dream job, it may not have been because “we weren’t good enough.” Or that “we lost.” Maybe we didn’t get the job for reasons beyond our control. Business behind the scenes got in the way or someone at the top intervened and gave the opportunity to a less qualified candidate. Maybe there’s something in the “universe” we don’t understand and it just wasn’t the perfect job we thought. Taking a job that on the surface may not appear to be as good as the one we lost may turn into something better in ways we can’t imagine today. There are positive outcomes to be realized. And hope to be found.


Think of a situation where you may have placed too much emphasis on winning or total success. What might have been a better way to look at the outcome?

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorThomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.