Dealing with Disappointment

It’s the little things that can take the wind out of your sails.

The most devastated I have felt was after breaking my leg during a game of football. It was one of those nasty breaks, you know, when the bone comes through the skin. After emergency surgery and an insertion of a metal rod, I spent over a week in hospital. The day came when it was time to go home. I was itching to get out of there and just before I was about to leave a doctor entered to look over my leg. I had never seen him before, but he took one look and showed concern over how the wound was healing, “Sorry, you won’t be going home today”.

I was devastated. I had been through so much in the previous week, away from family, friends and my home, and on the brink of being able to return to some form of normality, it was all ripped away.

I never saw that doctor again and I went home the very next day with no issues to report. That doctor will always be a jerk in my mind because that was the hardest 24 hours I have experienced.

There is something incredibly challenging about being so close to a goal and then having the finish line moved further away. It can deplete the strongest will.

I faced a similar feeling last weekend. No broken legs to report, but broken plans…again. After 222 days of having a hard border in Western Australia, travel was opened up which made it possible to visit family and my two eldest children in South Australia. With tickets booked and plans made, the border between WA & SA stayed open for less than two days before it shut tight again because of a Coronavirus outbreak in Adelaide.

I am devastated. I will cancel my trip to Adelaide, for the second time this year. We have all been through so much in the last 7 months, away from family, friends and homes, and on the brink of being able to return to some form of normality it has all been ripped away. So close, yet so far.

So what do I do with this disappointment? How can I ensure that the next few weeks and months are not the hardest that I will experience?

Something that I’ve learned since I had that sporting injury almost ten years ago – gratitude will keep you going. I will have times when I feel sad, and that’s okay, but it’s important that I don’t stay there because I have so much to be grateful for: my wife, my two younger children, our health and safety, the fact my two older children are also healthy, our lifestyle here in Perth, coffee (I could go on). The more I can keep those things front of mind the better my experience of the next few months will be, and I will be more enjoyable to be around. We will get there, this is not forever, just another momentary challenge.

Gratitude aside for a moment, Coronavirus will always be a jerk in my mind.

This is Why We Need Generosity

We need generosity.

In a world with increased connections but decreased relationships, now more than ever, we need it. Because it is generosity that breaks down the barriers that we put up, even the subconscious ones, to bring about quality relationships and positive change.

We need it because it is good for us. I talk often about the health benefits, physically, emotionally and psychologically, that generosity has. It is so good for us.

We need it because kids in the developed world are growing up in an unprecedented time of wealth. In Australia, over the next 10 or so years, we will see the largest transfer of wealth from one generation to another as the older generation dies. Never before have we had so much wealth. One of the problems this creates is that children are growing up experiencing large houses, latest technology, private schools, frequent holidays and access to anything they want, thinking that is normal. But the majority of the world does not live like this.

We need it because we are becoming more divided than ever. Taking sides is the new black. We seem to lack the ability to try to understand those we disagree with and just write them off as a ‘nut-job’.

Generosity makes us healthier. Generosity takes our focus off ourselves and shifts it on to others, allowing us to notice that people live in poverty all over the world and we can do something about it. Generosity brings us together through one of the kindest acts of seeking to understand the people we don’t agree with and realising we have much more in common that we think.

We need generosity.