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Celebrate National Sorry Charlie Day on April 6!

Charlie is a famous tuna who got rejected repeatedly in commercials for canned tuna, and a national day is named after him. Every April 6 is National Sorry Charlie Day. No one likes the feelings created by rejection, but it’s part of being human. It’s a healthy thing to occasionally review past rejections because there are always lessons to be learned from it. Below are facts about Charlie the Tuna and a few of the benefits to be derived from being on the receiving end of, “Sorry, Charlie!”


A Bit About Charlie the Tuna

The commercial debut of Charlie the Tuna in 1961 was the launch of a marketing strategy by StarKist. Charlie was apparently a hip fish with good taste and cultural assets. Sadly, StarKist found that Charlie was a tuna in good taste but that he did not taste good enough to meet the company’s standards. On each version of the commercial, the hip fish was again told, “Sorry, Charlie.”


Benefits of Rejection

“Helicopter parents” who may do all in their power to protect their children don’t actually prepare them for real life. When we become adults, there’s no way to avoid a wide range of confrontational or downright unpleasant circumstances. Rejection is something children in particular can benefit from, since it teaches them many valuable lessons. No doubt, children who have learned to deal with rejection are better prepared to face grown-up life. A couple more benefits of rejection follow:


Regroup and Refocus, after Rejection

When an opportunity comes along that your heart desires, getting your hopes up can lead to a painful letdown. Whether a romantic interest didn’t reciprocate your feelings or you were turned down for new job, the reality that sometimes life is crap comes into focus.

It’s important to walk away when a door has been closed. Yes, think about anything you may have done that didn’t help the situation; and learn from those things. Don’t hang on, however, and bask in grief over rejection.

Allow rejection to become a stepping stone to new successes. Any changing you do should be along the lines of being your best self, not trying to be who or what you aren’t. Rejection is a form of crisis, and it becomes incredibly empowering when you allow it to reveal what’s needed to ramp up self-improvement.


Congratulate Yourself! You Put Yourself Out There!

None of our lives actually pivot on one relationship, one employment opportunity working out, or one rejection. Putting yourself out there means that you are courageously living your life! That’s a very good thing. A terrific example of being rejected after repeatedly reaching for your dream is found in Stephen King’s manuscript rejection pile. His bestseller Carrie was rejected 30 times before being published. King faced many rejections before that, as well, before becoming a huge success. (At last tally, King’s books have sold more than 350 million copies.)


Happy Sorry Charlie Day!

If you set aside time to celebrate Happy Sorry Charlie Day, what rejections will you reflect on? Don’t drown in sorrows, though. Try to find a new lesson from the past. You may even realize that a particular rejection was the open door leading you to some of the happiest times and/or biggest successes of your life. For Charlie, being rejected meant he got to live a long life instead of being eaten. Being told, “Sorry, Charlie” actually meant he had a happier ending than if StarKist hadn’t turned him away.



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