How long does it take to get to a 'win'? Do you ever find yourself measuring your actions, goals and outcomes against a ficticious timeline? It happens to all of us, and if you want to stop and grab some perspective, a dog park is a brilliant stop to make to reset your sense of reality.
It's true, I am a dog person, and I suspect like my dog Max, I would often meet people with my tail wildly wagging in joyous anticipation of what's to come, if I had a tail to wag. He loves people and trots up to nearly everyone with the expectation that they'll love him, tell him what a great dog he is and offer him loads of affection and even treats.
Yet, poor pup often gets brushed off, ignored and treated as if he doesn't exist. Most of those interactions have nothing to do with him, rather the people he encounters are in their own very private worlds, and his hope for happy interaction doesn't even register with those solemn people who are lost in their thoughts, ipods or phones.
Failure on his part? Maybe, but more practically it's just the wrong time to get what he wants, and unlike many of us, he never gives up hope. Since he and I walk in the same area on a regular basis, I have been able to see that people who have ignored him multiple times, just need the right timing for him to get the positive reaction he always hopes for when he dances up to them.
In my work world, I often tell staff that "No is a temporary state of mind," and I've never found much to prove me wrong. Even Max, with his dogish grin, and willingness to believe in the best, reminds me that what we think of as rejection is probably nothing more than the wrong timing.
So next time you get a NO - just smile, move on and then try again after a bit with your own positive grin, and you'll be amazed that it was nothing to do with you, what you wanted to share or tell, just that you got to the right person at the wrong time.
As as for time - well the right time might be next week, or might be longer, perhaps even years, but if you take it personally, or stop trying you'll never know.
Just a thought for all of you as I take off my dog-walking shoes today.