When disappointments strike, it’s often true what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.
However, it’s also true that apathy and depression are terribly frequent results. We also grow a lot — and tend to diversify our dreams — because we realized what we initially wanted is either not achievable, not achievable that way, or that we probably didn’t want it in the first place.
Take rocket scientists, firefighters, astronauts or other childhood dreams I had as a kid — eventually I was saddened because I couldn’t or didn’t become one. Many of our dreams go dormant — but most die. That which we really, really, really, really wanted and…lost. Or postponed. All those pull at our heart: we clung to that expectation to vanquish that project, get the signature on that very important deal, become that community leader, or find victory at that big game.
Alas, it’s gone.
But sometimes those disappointments lead us deeper. Yes, many times we wade through — or are plunged headlong — through depression (I cannot neglect this: for anyone finding themselves in serious, true depression please hear this: it’s not that everything will become rosy or “turn out better”, but there is hope. I hope you turn to a friend, family, or hotline to be reminded of that. There is significance, there is hope — this is not the end). But in this, we can learn.
We possess the ability to take that difficult situation, that rough patch, that prospect who told us “No” when we threw all our weight into it and came out short — we work through that and become better. Not in spite of it, but because of it. Academics and psychologists tell us we need challenges and troubles to push us around all to make us better, stronger, an empathetic.
Sometimes these disappointments lead us to find the way to get that customer to enthusiastically say “yes!”, but it may be finding a new customer. Or it may be stop selling. There are a myriad of options out there. But those options tend to run invisible until we open our eyes and our minds to the possibilities. These possibilities are often a result of creative thinking because of sizable obstacles that conventional ways seem doomed.
Creativity is a beautiful thing. Oftentimes we need disappointments to reawaken the ingenuity of our souls to pursue what we wanted. Or what we never knew we wanted. But that’s the path: we’re not quite sure because we’re blazing this trail and there will be sadness along this amazing road.