My current favorite TV show is Castle. It has all the elements I love….mystery, humor, romantic tension, and the main character is a writer. And, in my biased opinion, it’s well written. A recent episode contained a conversation between Castle and daughter that struck a chord with me:
Daughter: How do you do it, dad?
Castle: Do what?
Daughter: Well, that letter that you have framed in your office.
Castle: My first manuscript rejection.
Daughter: Yeah. How can you stand having it there?
Castle: Because it drives me. And I got twenty more of those……….. That letter, that letter reminds me of what I’ve overcome. Rejection isn’t failure.
Daughter: Sure feels like failure.
Castle: No, failure’s giving up. Everybody gets rejected. It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up.
Most of my life I have viewed rejection as failure. Castle, though a fictional character, reminded me that rejection can be an open door to another opportunity. We may miss that opportunity if we categorize rejection as failure. Many people who have impacted the world “failed” originally, just as this video describes: