Drowsily, I woke up this morning to spend some time to meditate and pray. One of my core values is setting apart some time daily, to ponder and reflect on the past, present and future. I have imbibed that consciousness for years, and it’s become a major part of my lifestyle. As I reflect this morning, it dawned on me that many people have been hurt by one thing or the other; directly or indirectly. I used to assume that because it is easy for me to overcome disappointments after a short while, therefore, the same is applicable to everyone. Until I got involved in a counselling team, I never really saw why people should keep mourning over issues of the past. I guess my assumption emerged from the way I dealt with the challenges I encountered from my background. From illegitimacy to rejection, I suffered as a child and an adult, but in response, I have used those penuries as motivating factors rather than allowing them lead me into depression. Because I overcame those demons, I’m sometimes hard on people who think it is impossible to crack down the upheavals that stand between them and their next stages in life. I get a bit naughty in trying to get someone back to his feet when I see massive privileges surrounding a man who decides to be negligent and deliberately negatively obtrusive to his destiny. My irritants rise to a higher level, especially having lived in two separate worlds; Africa and the western world. With the abundance of resources in the west, many still waste; not because the government doesn’t care, but because the wastees, as I choose to call them are epitomes of excuses. In my few days of counselling people on the phone, I have realised that some people are too cold for comfort because advice never penetrates the rigid walls they’ve built around themselves. Same people call almost everyday to hear diverse opinions and suggestions, but never adopt any. If a woman is disappointed by certain occurrences, must she die a disappointment? If a man has suffered from certain incidences, must he die an accident? Definitely not! My little advice to those that have been disappointed, and still finding it difficult to overcome is:
To deal with disappointments, you must first realise that it may have been worse: no one is trying to play down what you’ve been through or still going through, but you need to know that some people’s cases are worse than yours; therefore, you should be grateful. For any pain you experience, there are people on the same street with you that are enduring twice what you’re encountering or have encountered. Anytime I look at my challenges, I also take some time to behold other people’s, then end up in appreciating life. If you don’t take a second look at where you are in comparison to where some people are, you will end up as an ingrate. Would you have preferred to be in that person’s position? If no, then realise that it may have been worse.
Apart from knowing that the situation may have been worse, see certain disappointments as blessings in disguise: truly, some disappointments are blessings in disguise. Some years ago, I applied to work as a marketer in a multinational pharmaceutical company. Then, I was a chemistry teacher. The husband of one of my colleagues was the human resources manager of the company. This lady became a hindrance to me being shortlisted for the recruitment test; she didn’t want me to go beyond the classroom. It took the intervention of the man’s former university classmate to get me shortlisted. After getting shortlisted, he told me that I won’t be able to pass the exam because it is too difficult. All I needed was a chance, but he didn’t want to give it to me, all because his wife was against it. I went for the test and came out on top. During the interview, which he headed, I was vehemently challenged by his stooge, but was determined to show intelligence even if I knew that the possibility of getting the job was remote. At the end, I wasn’t offered employment. I wept like a baby, and thought my world had come to an end. A couple of months later, I received a text message for another interview from an organisation I earlier applied to. Once again, I came out on top, and was offered the job. The blessing in disguise was that I ended up earning twice what the pharmaceutical company would have paid me.
Develop I-am-better-than-this mentality: see beyond where you are; look at where you want to be. If you can’t see beyond, get a picture of a beautiful scene that you desire; stick it wherever is conspicuous and behold it daily. There is a connection between pictures and the mind. What you see daily gets imprinted on your mind. The picture will help reshape your mentality. Before long, all you’ll be seeing is that picture. Listen; you become what you see!
What I do sometimes, is visit some beautiful offices even if I have no business being there. My business is that I want to change the picture on my mind. It helps my belief system; it helps me realise that impossibility is possible. Deal with your disappointments by knowing that you’re better than the disappointment; and keep it so!
Develop A-love-your-enemy mentality: not all disappointments are caused by perceived enemies, but if yours is one, learn to love your enemy. The peace of loving far outweighs the hurt of hating. You can’t do better than where you are by hating the person or people that put you there. If you want to go beyond there, love them. Love takes you out of depression; that is the best antidote. Love promotes you beyond where disappointment kept you. You have to love your enemies, if you must do better than your enemies.
Prove a point with your come-back: some people say they have nothing to prove to anyone, but sometimes, there must be something to prove. Prove to that disappointment that you’re stronger. Prove to failure that you’re a success. Prove to poor relationship that you can make it blissful. Prove to lack that you can have abundance of those resources. There is something to prove sometimes!
Don’t put the disappointment behind you, put it beside you: this statement is variation from convention. Usually, people say you should put your disappointment behind you. Yes, it is good to do that, but I prefer putting mine beside me so that anytime I want to relax from my pursuits, it becomes a motivating factor. I always look at my disappointments daily, as they challenge me not to be lazy or feel a sense of satisfaction. Sometimes, when I become too busy to teach my children, I remember that as I child, I never had a father that taught me, so, it’s a privilege for me to have children I can teach. That disappointment of being rejected before birth has never been behind me; it is beside me, and I use it wisely.