What Can You Learn From Disappointments?


A husband got into big trouble after his wedding anniversary. His wife told him the day before, "Tomorrow there better be something in the drive way for me that goes from zero to 200 in 2 seconds."

The next morning the wife went outside and found a small box in the driveway. She opened it and found a bathroom scale.

All throughout life we all deal with some type of disappointment, whether it is disappointment from our job, family or friends. Disappointment is inevitable. It is not a matter of "if" it comes, it is "when" it comes.

Several days before my 15th birthday, my dad informs me that they have bought me a car. You can imagine the excitement I felt. He went on to say that it was being delivered on the morning of my birthday. I walked around to cloud nine and remember thinking, "Oh man, only rich people get their cars delivered to them; this must be quite the car!"

That morning, I stood in my parents' driveway waiting for my car to arrive. My heart is pounding against my chest, in my mind I picture a red convertible sports car and can feel the wind blowing through my hair as I take that baby from 4th to 5th gear. I can hear the duel exhaust screaming as I put the accelerator to the floor. I got excited!!

Several minutes later, I notice a tow truck coming down the street and to my amazement the driver pulled into my parent's drive way. It wasn't my beautiful red sports car, it wasn't car at all. I figured the tow truck driver had made a wrong turn and needed directions.

I walked up to the truck and in my most polite tone asked if I could help him. He said is he was looking for-and gave my address. I can only assume that all the blood must've drained from my face, because the driver asked if I was okay.

I couldn't believe it! It wasn't a red sports car like I had pictured in my mind. Instead, on the back of this tow truck sat a hideous, multi-colored, 1972 Ford Courier pick up truck. "You've got to be kidding me, is this some kind of cruel joke?"

When I say multi-colored, this truck had approximately 20 different colors on it. This truck had no idea what color it wanted to be. It was used for the paint shop of the auto repair facility where my dad worked and there are no words to describe the ugliness of this truck.

My dad walked out of the house and gave directions where the monster was to be released. Evidently my dad saw the disappointment in my face and told me that we had one year to work on the truck and get it in tip-top shape. I was disgusted!

Through out the next year I would work on my truck every afternoon and every weekend. It took forever to remove all the paint. One year later, after many hours of labor, we hadn't gotten to the painting stage but at least all the dents were straightened and running. The truck was a beautiful brown primer color. The only way to get a shine on this truck was spray the primer with water and admire it before the water dried.

The moment had finally arrived. With great pride I slid the key in the ignition and to no avail, if didn't start! Pounding the steering wheel in anger, I remember thinking, "This is NOT happening!"

Finally, my dad and I managed to get it running again and off I went for my first adventure in my "new" truck. After a quick stop to pick up a good friend, we were out on the town in the brown beast. I drove around for several hours and we started for home. The truck ran for a grand total of 5 hours and left me sitting on the side of the highway. I remember thinking and feeling this has to be the worse birthday in history.

I have learned through experience that there is something to learn from all our disappointment. It is through disappointment that we are strengthened. It is up to us to find the good in every bad situation. Instead of asking "why me?" start asking "what can I learn from this?" In every disappointment there is a lesson to be learned. However, it is up to you to look for the lesson.

You may be wondering what that hideous truck taught me.

I'm not sure what it taught me. One thing I do know for sure is that truck brought closeness between me and my dad that never before existed. It gave me an opportunity to actually learn who my dad was a person. We spent many hours together working on the truck and it gave him the opportunity to do what he loved to do, work on a vehicle and teach his son some valuable lessons about life. I didn't realize all this at the time, but as I sit here and write this, it has opened my eyes to the realization that my dad wasn't that bad after all.

No matter how much disappointment comes into your life, look through it and find the positive lessons within. You are a strong willed individual and you have the ability to overcome any and all obstacles that come into your path of life. You can overcome any form of disappointment and can become a stronger, smarter and a more confident person. I have faith in you and your ability to overcome.

Copyright 2008 Bobby Cary II
Bobby Cary is an inspirational/motivational speaker, writer and life coach. Throughout his life, Bobby has faced many set backs. Growing up with a severe speech impediment along with a learning disability and a behavior disorder, he has a tremendous amount of experience in Overcoming Adversity.