“There are two types of people in the world. Those who waste time staring at a closed door and those who find a window.” ~ Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
I love watching Modern Family and as soon as I heard this quote I immediately thought of my dad. It wasn’t because he was the eternal optimist, although he was. It was because he took this quote to a whole new level of reality about twenty-five years ago.
My dad sold real estate and he was regarded by many in his field to be one of the best. The man could sell ice cubes to Polar Bears. So when a family of five decided they wanted to purchase a cottage in Muskoka, my dad went out of his way to find the perfect place. He had heard of a property that was being listed, but not yet officially on the market, and he knew it would be their Utopia. The lake frontage was stunning, the view was incredible and the neighborhood had the promise of only increasing in value.
They ventured en masse to see the property and, because it had not been officially listed, they were unable to access the cottage itself….until my dad spotted the open window. He would never be able to convince the family of the charm that cottage possessed unless they were able to see the entire property, inside and out. The wheels in his head began to turn and his eyes finally fell on the youngest of the three children. With sufficient cajoling and a little effort, the couples’ youngest son was boosted up and sent through the open bathroom window. Moments later he appeared at the front door to, just as illegally, let the rest of the family enter what would eventually become their family cottage.
That closed door meant nothing to my dad. It only took a few moments for him to realize that portal was not his only option. If he had let himself be constrained by his perceived reality, that cottage would never have been bought by this family. His perseverance and willingness to think outside of that boxed-in door led him to that open window, the sale of a beautiful cottage and the happiness of a family.
As it turns out, that relatively innocent “break and enter” would have much more of an impact on me, when years later their daughter and I would meet while working in the same pub and become best friends.
You are never stuck in a situation because the door seems to be closed. And although you think that door may be the only way in or out, look for that open window. It’s there somewhere.