Throughout the course of my life, I’ve often felt stuck—desperately wanting to move forward, but feeling trapped in a never-ending waiting room. Things never seemed to be moving forward the way I’d envisioned.

I would then desperately scramble and push, trying to get out of that room. I usually felt like I was hitting a wall; nothing materialized the way I wanted it to. Not too long ago, I felt very stuck at a job I didn’t enjoy. I knew I wanted more. I desperately tried to find a better job, but with no success. I lacked direction or clarity. I was stuck.

Then these words jumped out at me: “There’s no such thing as being stuck.” I was in the middle of reading Positivity Bias by Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson, a book highlighting the Rebbe’s perspectives. I had recently received the book as a gift from a friend just a few hours after I’d been at the Ohel, in Queens, N.Y., for the first time.

I’m in my early 20s and live in Jerusalem (I made aliyah as a child). I was visiting New York for a few days to see friends and family.

I’m not from a Chabad home but have grown closer to Chabad over time. I heard a lot about the Rebbe, his unique outlook, and about Chassidic teachings in general. I knew that the Ohel was somewhere I had to go, and I was hoping that the book would further enrich my connection.

The book offers an example of a group of women who were stuck at the airport due to their flight being delayed. They called up the Rebbe’s office to tell him the news, to which he replied: “There is no such thing as being stuck.” The Rebbe explained that a Jew is never stuck—there is a reason and a purpose for everything. The women understood the message, and after thinking about it realized that they had an opportunity to give out Shabbat candles to the people at the airport. There are now multiple houses lighting Shabbat candles because these women had been “stuck.”

Reading this, I realized I was exactly where I needed to be. There was a purpose for everything in my life. Even when life didn’t always go my way, it was going the right way. I wasn’t actually stuck! There must be something for me to do in the waiting room.

Obstacles to Opportunity

As I continued reading the book, I realized that I had to apply this to life!

I also read about the importance of seeking and surrounding oneself with good news. Here I was, working for a news agency, where so many of the messages weren’t very positive. I realized this was the perfect opportunity. I could spread positive news through this platform.

I approached my boss and requested to take on a project. I pivoted from design and started spreading positive news stories, highlighting humanity. I spoke to people who made a difference, and I was able to spread good news in a place that until then was mainly about the opposite.

It felt so rewarding!

I now see that sometimes, it’s in the waiting room that the best opportunities show up. When a person feels stuck, they don’t have to struggle or find an escape. All they have to do is realize they are in that situation for a reason. By doing so, infinite doors can open.

This realization ultimately led me to quit my job. But this time, it wasn’t a decision made out of desperation, but because it was time to do more.

Do What You Love

Towards the end of the book, Rabbi Kalmenson highlights the importance of doing what one loves for a living.

What a relief! I was always told (or at least I told myself) that good money comes from doing things that make good money. As long as I liked it enough and was good at it, it was worth pushing myself to do something I didn’t really like.

Deep down, I also knew I really wanted to coach others, but I couldn’t figure out how I’d do that.

I hired a coach, quit my job and started my own business. I now get to spread positive messages, coach others to live life to its fullest, and do what they love as well.

Life Is an Opportunity

I realized that life is an opportunity to do what you love, and, most importantly, to enjoy the process.

Now, I don’t want to say that life always goes magically the way we envision it. I still feel stuck sometimes. But now I know that “stuck” is just an indicator. It means that there is more—there has to be an opportunity, a reason why I am where I am.

Most importantly, the single most certain opportunity one has when feeling stuck is to pray.

Looking back, I now realize that this is exactly what I did at the Ohel that day, a few hours before my outlook on life was transformed.