Reschooling Tool #2: Find the Opportunity in Every Challenge

Tonight I broke my digital camera. I had the lens extended to take a photo, and I dropped the camera on the kitchen floor. The lens wouldn’t move, and I reacted as follows:

1. Swore at the top of my lungs.

2. Googled “Fix Digital Camera.” Followed suggestion to hold down the power button while twisting the lens outward. Managed to push the lens back in, but it still wouldn’t extend.

3. Ate half a bar of dark chocolate. I always default to this when at a loss for what else to do.

4. Decided that breaking the camera might be a blessing in disguise.

5. Resolved to use my parents’ camera until I can get a new one.

I’d wanted a different camera anyway, since my camera takes terrible low-light pictures and has recently started shutting itself off randomly. It also has one of those ridiculous docks to download photos, instead of a cable. Since I’ll be documenting my reschooling and travel experiences through photos, it’s essential that they’re good quality and easily transferred. If I hadn’t broken the camera, I probably would have continued to get by with my old one and compromised the quality of Reschool Yourself. So even though I’m still annoyed at myself for being Miss Butterfingers, I choose to believe that the mishap opened up the opportunity for a better quality camera during the early stages of the project.

I can’t say why this is so, whether the universe has some kind of master plan. All I know is that it doesn’t hurt to think that things happen for a reason, that there’s a hidden opportunity in every challenge or mistake. For example, if you miss your flight, consider that perhaps that plane might have had a serious problem, or lost your luggage. Perhaps you will meet someone on your new flight who will become a close friend or romantic partner, or connect you with a job. Maybe you’ll inspire someone or pass on a life-changing recommendation. The best part is that you may not ever know what opportunity arose from a certain challenge, but you can assume that one did — or will in good time.

When things don’t go according to plan, brainstorm the wildest and most positive possibilities that could result. I don’t know yet why I dropped my camera today, but I have some ideas. Maybe it’s so someone will donate a Sony Cybershot camera to the project, ya think?

Update: Through some generous donations, I was able to buy a Sony Cybershot in October. Thank you!

Comments (3)

  1. Ide

    I’ll bet you’ll get your camera one way or another. Things have a way of working out right when they need to.

    That’s one of my favorite games to play when something goes awry. Sometimes, I don’t have to look so far to see the good thing that came from a bad situation. Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, that sucked. But if I had stayed in Nola, I never would’ve had the good sense to realize what was important and get back with Josh for good. The two years spent in South Carolina brought us a lot closer and taught me that, if nothing else, the sky is more beautiful at night when you live in the sticks.

    I hate it when things don’t go how I’d planned them, but they always work out in a manageable way. Corporate sponsorship may not be the way to go with your project, but maybe you could contact the good deeds person at Sony and ask for a donated camera. Or get another company to provide one.

  2. Gilliebean

    You hated that camera, so even though it’s inconvenient that it broke, it really is a blessing in disguise. I love my Sony Cybershot! It’s pretty quick and good in low-light for a point-and-shoot. I’m sure you can use your charms to get someone to give you one…

  3. Melia

    Reading this post again at the end of the classroom phase of the project, I am so glad that the camera broke when it did, so I used a higher quality camera instead of just getting by with the inferior one. With readers’ donations, I bought a discounted Sony Cybershot on eBay in October — thanks for the recommendation, Gill — and love it.


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