Ruin Or Reinvention

picture credit: Octavio Fossatti


I am still disappointed!

That is me.   Us.  And life.

I thought I had longed resolved a disappointment I had some time ago.  And when something I saw today on my social media triggered that same sense of disappointment, I realised it is still lodged in my consciousness.  It is still there.  And I hated it that it is still there.

Disappointment does not go away easily.  It stays for a while.  And sometimes, it stays for years and years.  And I am beginning to wonder, does it ever really go away?  I am beginning to think that disappointment is enduring.

And for what reason?

I think enduring disappointment does one of 2 things to us.

  1. It captures us and makes us captive to it.  It makes us ever suspicious and distrusting of the people that disappointed us.  So when it overstays its welcome, it becomes toxic, and creates the enduring separation, pain and over time, enduring bitterness.  Or …
  2. It checks in with us, measures the temperature of our disappointment, and gives us a health report on how much we have changed and progressed from our disappointment.

So which is me today?


I think disappointment hangs around like an irritating buzzing fly.  And I could imagine myself doing one or all of three things.

One, tell myself this is utterly depressing and there is no where else to go where there are no flies.  The flies just keep coming back to me again and again.  Help!

Two, explode in anger, go after it, curse it under my breath, complain against it, try to kill it, and missed.  Again and again.   And then, let it ruin my day.  Again and again.

Or three, handle it like a pro.  From experience, swat it at the precise moment and be done with it or simply, get up and walk away.

As I thought about what I saw in my social media that triggered the old disappointment, I was able to trace the journey of that disappointment.

  • When the disappointing incident first happened, I definitely felt like there is nothing I can do.  Why did it happened to me?
  • Then there was the scenario two where I got angry whenever I am reminded of what had happened.  And it did ruin my day.  Again and again.
  • Of late and today, it definitely felt like scenario three.  I checked myself, made a mental note not to let it render me helpless or upset, learn from it and try and become the better man.

So yeah.

Disappointment is here to stay.


Whether it ruins me or reinvents me, I get to decide.

I can choose to blame the people that disappointed me and relive the disappointment again and again and again.   As a result, I will experience mounting agony, pain and eventually, greater and deeper disappointment.  And the people that had disappointed me, well, they would have moved on and not have the slightest clue to what I am going through.  So where’s the fun in that?


You, disappointment, will not ruin me.  You will reinvent me.  I choose to learn from you, change through you and become the better me because of you.

I like what Conan O’Brien, the comedian said about disappointment.

The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.



People and things.  One is to be loved and not used.  The other is to be used and not loved.

It is my experience that when we focus on cherishing and flourishing people and relationships, we focus on creating life experiences that lasts.  The work that we do will impact people.  But it is impacting people physically, mentally and emotionally that truly matters.

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(Image Credit Imthaz Ahamed)

Also, check out my latest post, The Courage To Try.


Expression Of Ideas Is Your Strength

My wife told me she does not have the strength of ideation.  That she is not an ideas person.  “No ideation.  No strength in ideas”, she said. That made me raise my eyebrows.

I asked her, “Why not?”  And she told me 3 reasons: –

Different Strengths. Different Ideas.

  1. She doesn’t feel her ideas were original.
  2. What she knows, are stuff that others already have thought about.
  3. She thinks her only strength here is that she is good at learning and putting all these different ideas together.

Her 3rd point had me really puzzled.  So I asked her again, “And that doesn’t make you an ideas person?!”

Often, we all sell ourselves short.

It was Pablo Picasso who said


Good artists copy. Great artists steal.


And it was Steve Jobs who made that line famous.

It meant all good artists have ideas but only the great ones that put the ideas together made it their own.  We all can hold a paint brush.  And only those who paint on a white canvas are noticed.

Our ideas may not be the most original.  And yet, no one really has a monopoly over original ideas.  How often have you been told or you told others that your idea or theirs was nothing new?

Listen to this.

While our ideas may be similar to other people, our expressions of those ideas are our own. When we express these ideas in our own ways, we power these ideas in a new direction or with a fresh perspective.   When we put different ideas together, we create something new and make it our own.

Ideas find its strength and shape through our expressions.  It is our individual expressions of those ideas that showed how we think, feel and behave that is truly an original.

Unfortunately, many get stopped at “it is nothing new”.  We drew away, shut up, and too easily brand ourselves tragically as the person that is a “not”.  Not original.  Not creative.  Not an “ideas person”.


Ideas, originality, and creativity do not belong just to the fancy pants. They belong to everyone.  They belong to you!

I have been married for 27 years. And the one thing I know about my wife is that she is a fabulously “ideas person”.  Every day, she brims with endless creativity in bringing change, hope, joy, strength, and purpose to the family, to her work, and to her friends.

So, let’s stop telling ourselves we have little strength or ability in creating ideas.   Worse still, that we have no ideas.

How you express these supposedly “unoriginal” ideas through your own way is your unique strength.  The fact that you are taking all sorts of existing ideas, mixing them up and creating new insight is precisely what ideation is.  So don’t sell yourself short.

The lack of original ideas may stop you. But it is your expression of those ideas that must move you.