Vote after informal vote, I was in the top five. But when the official decision of who was going to move ahead from the Master’s degree program to the doctoral program, I was reminded of my mother’s words, “Michael, when one door closes another opens.”

I wasn’t among the five who were admitted to the Psy.D. program at Hahnemann Medical College on that Friday late in May, 1972. I remember thinking, “I came way too far to stop now. Maybe my 8th grade teacher, Mrs. McCaffery, was right when she said I wasn’t college material. Michael you don’t believe everything you think! No, I really don’t believe her nonsense. I’m may be knocked down but I’m a victor not a victim. No, one door closed, but there is no doubt at all another is opening.”

Monday morning I found that other door. I went over to the University of Pennsylvania and, miracle of miracles, despite the deadline having passed for entrance that year into their very esteemed Ph.D. program, despite the significant hurdles and negative self-talk and predictions I had to overcome, I hand printed an application, was miraculously admitted, and in September, 1972 began my doctoral studies at Penn.

Had the door at Hahnemann’s doctoral program NOT closed on me, I would have a Psy.D. degree from a school that now no longer even exists. Instead, the door opened for me to a Ph.D. degree from one of the nation’s most prestigious Ivy League schools. They can’t stop me, even when they stop me.

Steve Maraboli observed, “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.” Steve’s observation is the compass and an anchor core belief that underpins many successful people from all walks of life that I’ve been privileged to coached. They’ve made it work for them, I’ve made it work for me and I hope you’ll make it work for you and your loved ones.

Whether it was Oscar Hammerstein who wrote in the Sound of Music, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window,” King Ethelred the Unready, who coined the saying, “Tis a lesson you should heed; try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Alexander Graham Bell who said, “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us,” Helen Keller who noted, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long as the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us,” or my mother who often reminded me of the simple, “Michael, when one door closes another opens,” the message is clear. You aren’t really down. Get up, allow and be grateful for those doors closing behind you, and see what abundance and opportunity is in store when your new door opens.

Joseph was thrown into a pit and left to die. He was sold into slavery and brought to Egypt. Sure seems like it’d be easy to think doors closed on him and death is certain. No, another door was opening and he had the faith and courage to know it would happen. He worked his way from prison in Egypt and become Pharaoh’s right hand man. There is always another door to open with something even better for you.

Imagine saying “thank you” to someone for NOT opening a door you wanted open. Maybe it saved your life. Imagine NOT being allowed on the plane after you rushed down the jet way only to find the door to the plane closed. Maybe you avoided disaster. Imagine being grateful for NOT getting a job. Maybe it saved your career. Imagine being appreciative for NOT having a relationship work out. Maybe it saved your happiness.

I have a mantra, that you may have seen me post on my Facebook or Twitter accounts or that says, “EWOP,” meaning “Everything Works Out Perfectly.”

Sure it’s difficult to trust, accept as true and genuinely believe that the other door is going to open for you with far better than you could have ever imagined. Sure it’s difficult to recite my mantra, “EWOP” and fully be certain it does and will. But then again, when hasn’t it?

Author's Bio: 

Michael R. Mantell earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.S. at Hahnemann Medical College, where he wrote his thesis on the psychological aspects of obesity. His career includes serving as the Chief Psychologist for Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and as the founding Chief Psychologist for the San Diego Police Department. He served on the faculty of UCSD’s School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry.

He provides behavior science coaching for sustainable strategic outcomes, in mindful, values driven, and positively adaptive ways to business leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, individuals, families and fitness organizations to reach new breakthrough levels of success and significance in their professional and personal lives.

Michael is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Science for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, and served as the Senior Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He travels the world speaking with fitness and health professionals to provide the most current thinking and tools for behavior change.

He is a best-selling author of three books including the 25th Anniversary updated edition of his 1988 original “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, P.S. It’s All Small Stuff.” He is listed is listed in’s 2013 “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”

Please connect with Michael on Twitter: @FitnessPsych & @DrSanDiego