Chinonso Writes!: Why dwell on the lake, when you could earn the ovation?

by Chinonso Ogbogu

In 1896, a certain Australian explorer known as Lawrence Allen Wells successfully crossed a dry salt lake located in the state of Western Australia. This particular lake has a huge depression covering an area of about 330 sq km, and as a result, several persons believed that there might be a lagoon in the lowest part of the depression. Unfortunately, when a team of explorers went down to the depression a year later, they were so let down to discover that there wasn’t any lagoon! In such state of disillusionment, the team decided to christen the lake ‘Lake Disappointment.’ Gosh! Pardon my slight parenthesis. I only wanted to pick the last two words of the foregoing sentence and use them as a nub for today’s gossip. Having picked them, let’s proceed without further ado, please.

Some time in March 2010, I was invited to speak to about seven hundred undergraduates at an empowerment summit held in University of Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria. It was a significant event and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to hit the ground running with my ideas and panache. Days before the event proper, I poured in intense energy, creativity, and time into preparing my PowerPoint slides. As the day drew closer, I progressively grew accustomed to my slides, and then, obliviously, I got myself welded into them. I was proud of my slides, hence I was eager to conceitedly parade them before my audience. On the day of the event, I took a final, affirmative preview of my slides, transferred the file into a 2-gigabyte flash drive, and then, with the small plastic device well-positioned in my breast pocket, I took a taxicab straight to the venue of the event. When I got there, the audience was already seated and the hall was full; and within few minutes, I was heralded to the stage to strut my stuff. At that point, I gave out the flash drive to the technical guy so that he could project my slides onto the screen. Ironically, the latter never happened! Why? My almighty slides couldn’t open! Alas, the file containing my slides was corrupted by some strange viruses in the flash drive. I almost fainted! I was disappointed.

Frankly, when I discovered the disappointing situation I was in, I thought I was toast! Sure, at first, my mind went literally blank and I got the jitters, but then I had to brace up and make the best out of the situation in front of me. To cut a long story short, I spoke without my PowerPoint slides, and, to my greatest astonishment, I got a standing ovation—twice!

Okay, extrapolating from the above story, I will like to share with you some thoughts about ‘disappointments’ vis-à-vis our life’s journey and aspirations. You see, life is a space packed with several variables. And one of such variables is that, things will not always work out according to your prognosis. Whether you like it or not, you will meet with disappointments; and if you don’t meet with them, they will definitely come to you. In fact, in life, there are times when people will let you down; times when your ideas or strategies will fail to produce the right results you truly desire; and times when the things happening around you will be moving on reverse gear. And when such times come, it’s just natural for you to want to feel disappointed with yourself, with others, or with things. Well, that’s OK—it’s simply one of man’s natural inclinations. However, to drive your life forward and be the best you’ve been designed to be, you need to learn how to look through life’s disappointments and discover the beauties that they hold for you. Sure, disappointments could be hurtful and exasperating, but don’t allow them to keep you down or cause you to generate or harbour negative emotions. Just like my story above, try to make the best out of every disappointing situation you find yourself. Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, but then the good news is that you’ve been given the power to control how you feel and what you do with your own share of life’s disappointments. So rather than mourn or dwell on your own ‘Lake Disappointments,’ rise up today and earn the world’s standing ovation by profiting from them.


 – Chinonso Ogbogu is a business trainer, success coach, conference speaker, gifted writer, and a radio personality. He is the radio host of SuccessMatters™, the conveyor of the monthly GET INSIGHT, GET INSPIRED™ event, and the author of theupcoming book, “THE VOICES.”

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