“No matter how hard you try, this door will not open.”
Some of the time No is the answer, at least for the time being — a concept that can be difficult to grasp, particularly for people ambitious enough to find their way to a Practice blog. (Or earn an advanced degree, start their own business, run for office, hold out for the right job, cut a demo…) The up side to ambition is optimism and a can-do mentality. The downside is the amount of energy that ambitious people can spend trying to pry open doors that simply will not open.
Practice: Study doors like a housebreaker. Ask yourself how difficult it would be to get a specific door open: “The red one, no way. The blue door looks easy. I can’t tell about the one next to it…” Practice assessing both literal and metaphorical doors. Some of them are ready to open and keep right on opening. Others will not open no matter how hard you push.