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The Secret To Greatness

By Anonymous
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Sooner or later, the triple whammy is going to get you.

It got me recently but this time I managed to learn something from it. I discovered how to be great.

The triple whammy started with the boyfriend whammy. We
split up over emails. How sad is it when all you’ve got left to say can be summed up in a tersely written exchange?

Days later, whammy #2 hits. The stock market plunges 777 points, a nice symmetrical number signifying no end of
pain, worry, and fear.

Then, just when I’ve forgotten things happen in three’s, I get a call from a headhunter telling me I’m too senior for all available positions. Doesn’t “too senior” sound suspiciously like “too old”?

Not a good week.

They say the measure of a person isn’t how many problems we have or don’t have. It’s how we handle them that really count. When your life goes to pieces and you find yourself broke, alone, and eating too much ice cream, what do you do? Sit by helplessly, a shell-shocked expression frozen on your face? Add caramel sauce to your ice cream? Stockpile canned goods in preparation for The Day of Reckoning (whatever that is)? Or call up your friends and bore them to tears with your sniveling, whimpering, self-pitying rant?

Personally, I’m partial to the latter. But this time, I hit a snag because my friend, Susan, changed the rules without me knowing.

Here’s how it went. I called up Susan and as I’d done a million times before, I asked her how she was doing. My voice had an unmistakable victim ring to it aimed at drawing her into commiseration. Just when I expected her to say, “Gee, you sound awful. What’s wrong?” she came out with, “I’m great.”

I looked at the phone thinking I’d misdialed. “You’re kidding, right?” I said. “You’re never great.”

“No, things have changed,” said Susan happily. “I’m really great.”

What’s the world coming to when you can’t share a little venom, rage, and frustration with a friend? It was like she’d been kidnapped by aliens from Planet Great-oh and reprogrammed into some annoyingly, boringly happy person.

There wasn’t much to say after that. I hung up and thought about the dire situation. Then it dawned on me.

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