How do you handle your disappointments? If you have children, how do you teach them to handle disappointment?

I had a disappointment last Friday, November 9. I am a Toastmaster, and I had made plans to attend the District 13 Fall Conference in State College, Pennsylvania. It did not happen.

I could see the disaster approaching. As a technology professional, when our computer network crashed, I knew it was my job to get it back up and running. This crash would consume my time, and personal engagements would need to be postponed or canceled. Please, no pity. I am quite content with the fact that this is a part of my job.

However, I was disappointed. I was going to miss the conference which I was looking forward to very much. And my children knew it. Time to sulk? Or time to teach a lesson?

First, I had to convince myself.

  • Positive: There’ll be another conference.
  • Negative: But I was looking forward to this one.
  • Positive: You’ll look forward to every conference.
  • Negative: But I was prepared for this one.
  • Positive: You’ll be prepared and excited for any conference in the future.
  • Positive: There will always be another conference that you’ll look forward to and enjoy.

So what I ended up repeating to myself and to those who tried to grant me sympathy was: “It’s just part of the job. I’ll enjoy the next one.”

I then went home and repeated it several times for the sake of my children. If I wanted them to look on the bright side of things, I had to let them see me doing the same. And repetition helps to seal in a message, whether that message is to yourself, or your audience.

When you are preparing a presentation, determine what is your main message, and be sure you repeat it. Repeat it to yourself. It will help you master your message under any conditions.

Repeat it in your presentation for your audience. Let them hear it often enough that they go home with it.

How do you remain positive?

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