Disheartened? Get Creative

Confident people don’t become disheartened, they become creative.

Background

There have been instances in which I wasn’t getting the result I desired and found another path to follow. I wasn’t disheartened, angry or frustrated by the failure of the initial attempt. Instead, I was motivated to find a path to what I wanted. There are probably more instances, but these two are very similar, which is why they’re the ones that came to mind.

Creative approach #1

The first experience was more than a decade ago. I had written an article about a better way to structure organizations than the traditional silo approach. I submitted the article to a number of human resources associations to no avail.

Then I realized that I had sent the article to only one editor at each publication. I submitted the article again, this time to every editor at the publication in which I wanted it to appear. I quickly got a very kind, polite no thank you from the managing editor. A few weeks later I get a call from that same managing editor asking me if he could use my article in one of his publications.

It seems that one of his editors brought the article to him with an idea on how to use it and he agreed. The article got published exactly where I had hoped.

Creative approach #2

Recently I submitted an op ed piece on the presidential race. It’s early yet, but I haven’t heard back on my submission. I admit to being impatient, plus I believe so strongly in what I wrote that I began looking for a way to get the message out.

I began talking to people about what I’d written. A couple of people asked me to send them a copy. Since then one of these folks has passed it along to two other people who have already passed it along to others. What do you think the likelihood is that my op ed will get to someone who has the ear of an editor willing to run my piece?

Based on experience I’d say the odds are good and getting better by the moment. I also sent my thoughts to the Democratic candidate that I believe has the best chance of winning. Will my efforts produce the desired result? No one knows. I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m doing what I can to do what I believe is in the best interests of our great country.

As I tell students in my confidence programs, I can’t control the outcome. I can only control my efforts. That’s true for you as well.

For you

First, don’t ever sell yourself on the idea that you can’t make a difference. If you’re passionate about something and put forth the effort to make that passion a reality, good things happen. You don’t have to trust me on this, you’ve been around long enough to have seen numerous instances of one person making a difference.

Second, if your early attempts don’t produce the result you desire, don’t become disheartened. Get creative! Look for other ways to achieve what you desire. One of the great blessings in life is that there is always more than one path to any given destination. Just because the first path you chose didn’t get you there doesn’t mean that another path won’t.

Third, be satisfied that you’re making the effort. Acknowledge the fact that you can’t control the outcome, but you ARE making the effort.

For our kids

When you see your kids becoming disheartened, frustrated or angry because they’re not getting the result they desire, ask them “What other approach(es) might you use to get what you want?”

Asking them this question helps them set aside the emotions they’re experiencing, which, in turn, frees their minds to find alternative approaches. What a beautiful gift to give the kids in your life.

I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share you wisdom below.

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