Rise beyond the ashes of disappointment


Humanity hates pain, yet we cannot live without pain. Pain is one significant factor that drives humans forward. Because we do not want to experience it, we work hard to avoid it. But life has one simple principle; pain will always get on the path of our lives. And with pain comes disappointment and disillusionment.

Disappointment is a great teacher that we have to embrace. There is no mentor as great as disappointment. When life is normal, we take it for granted, we linger in the comfort zone and we stop thinking; we stop challenging our brains. Most businesses are born out of disappointment of a failed business. Most people in the corporate world are advancing their studies having been disappointed that the educational qualifications they have are not giving them an upper edge to be accorded luxurious positions. Their disappointment becomes a driver of their ambitions.

There is a significant increase in the number of employees that are doing businesses. The bottom line is that they are disappointed with their perks, hence to live a life of their dreams, they have to take the road not taken: face challenges head-on and start doing businesses. If they were not disappointed with their salaries, they could not have created small businesses which in the end are growing big, thus employing more people.


Disappointment is a necessary evil. People that have been disappointed in their working environment end up realising that their corporate life is nothing but a shadow and that their relevance can erode any moment. In such realisation, they end up carving other niches; exploiting their skills and talents to enhance their lives. Some of them become consultants or even part-time lecturers and teachers.

Writing of the battle at the Alegria de Pio, Ernest o Che Guevara says “we walked until darkness made it impossible to go on and decided to lie down and go to sleep huddled together in a heap. We were starving and thirsty, and mosquitoes adding to our misery. This was the baptism of fire, December 5, 1956, on the outskirts of Niquero. Such was the beginning of forging what would become the Rebel Army.”

Without the disappointment of the loss of fellow comrades, the Rebel Army would not have been born and certainly Cuba could not have ended up in the hands of Fidel Castro.


Consider the story of Martin Brown, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Radical Mobility, a South African business that designs, manufactures and markets power wheelchairs for people with disabilities. Brown is a quadriplegic and has been confined to a wheelchair since 1998. His company sprouted from the need to find an electric wheelchair that catered for his needs – such as the ability to drive on beach sand and overcome slopes and other obstacles.

The accident he had was a big disappointment to him but he never let it control his destiny. The disappointment opened new eyes in him to see other wonderful opportunities. If it was not for the accident, Radical Mobility could not have been born and the solutions that it has provided to the disabled could possibly not have been there.

Great people face disappointments many times. Billionaire Richard Branson explains his disappointment as he was attempting to keep his airline in business.

Branson says: “After the great leap into setting up Virgin Atlantic, I now found that it was difficult to develop the airline as quickly as I wanted. Although we had had a wonderful year and had been voted the Best Business Class Airline, Virgin Atlantic was confined to operating from Gatwick Airport. Due to a single short runway and the lack of connecting flights, Gatwick was less profitable…we were struggling to make money…with our endless struggles to make ends meet at Virgin Atlantic, I began to question whether I should start doing something completely different. I even thought of going to university and study history.”

If Branson had given up to the disappointment, Virgin Atlantic could not have been as huge and successful an airline as it is now. It would have been an airline confined to the museum of history.

What matters is rising beyond disappointment and the world is not short of stories of people that did that. Unbelievable so to say that Winston Churchill who eventually became British prime minister was a child who had been ignored by parents, who did poorly in class, stuttered and spoke with a lisp. They actually called him a disappointment and a boy of “low intelligence”.

If Churchill had given in to that disappointment, he would not have been one of the British respected prime ministers.

Learn from the pains encountered. Learn from the disappointment and betrayal felt in life. Life is practical and out of practical elements come disappointment which is the springboard to success. Disappointment has the torch to light the realities of life and unmask the masquerading lifestyles of people that pretend to love while hiding beneath their smiles disastrous venom. But surviving disappointment is the virtue of the strong. It is as difficult as to forgive. It is only the strong that can forgive as it is only the strong that survive disappointment and move on.

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