082: 3 Metaphors To Help You Handle Disappointment [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

How do you handle disappointment? Today, I share 3 metaphors and a bonus question that give you a positive perspective on disappointment.


Disappointment comes and goes.  How you handle it makes all the difference in the world.

These metaphors can help change your perspective:

  • “Every cloud has a silver lining”

It comes from Milton’s “Comus,” – like a play performed in the courts of kings and princes. The silver lining is the light of the moon shining from behind the cloud.

“Was I deceived? or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err, there does a sable cloud,
Turn out her silver lining on the night
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.”

The idea is that while the cloud of defeat might rain on you, somewhere there is an opportunity.  Maybe it’s simply a learning that will help you with the next challenge.

When disappointed, ask, “Where can I find beauty in this?”

  • “Life is like a train track”

From Pastor Rick Warren.  Joy and sadness are alway present in your life.  Sometimes, the situation pushes you to lean more on the sadness side.  Sometimes, you are leaning on the joy side.  The positive perspective in this is that even when you’re disappointed, joy is just one leaning away.

  • “Make Reality your friend.”

This comes from the book, Peaks and Valleys – Making Good And Bad Times Work For You–At Work And In Life.  The emotion of disappointment clouds our logical brain and we tend to miss what reality is actually saying.  For example.  If you find out one person doesn’t like you, the emotion of disappointment tells you that EVERYONE doesn’t like you.  In that situation, ask yourself, “how many people?”  Reality puts things in perspective.

  • Bonus question:

What opportunity does this struggle create?

The overall theme is getting your mind right. Romans 12:2 – “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Look for the positives. Don’t dwell on the negatives.


  • Audible.com – 180K audio book, right at your fingers



081: One Secret To Overcoming Frustration [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

Have you ever had a frustration keep you from move ahead in life?  How do you overcome that frustration?  There is one secret that can help.

I had a call from my daughter, Maddie.

It was on a Saturday and she started by saying, “Dad, I need the motivation to do my math.”

I asked what was holding her back.  “I just don’t like it!”

She was frustrated.  

Frustration is that feeling of being annoyed or upset, especially when there’s a gap between what you want and the reality of your situation now.  It’s that nagging feeling not of all out anger but of just irritation.  

We all get frustrated at different times for different reasons…

Here is one secret that can help motivate you to push through your frustration and get on the other side.  This especially works when you’re facing a certain task that you don’t want to do and you’ve been putting them off.  

Here’s the secret:  

Envision what it would feel like to hit the goal.  

For Maddie, I asked, “What would it feel like if you finished your math homework?”  

She said, “It’d feel awesome.”  She also had a concert to go to that night and hang out with friends.

Then I pushed into what it would be like to NOT get the math done and go to the concert.  She said, “Like this burden was there.”   

So in doing that, I helped her feel both outcomes.  It gets to motivation and the pain and pleasure principle.  We are either motivated by pain or pleasure.  In asking both of those questions, I used both to motivate her to put in the hard work for an hour so she could be free from the burden of the loony math problems.  

You can use this in your own life.  Whenever you begin to feel those feelings of frustration, simply hit the pause button, envision and feel what it’d be like to have it done and then use that to motivate you to focus and complete the task. 


  • Audible.com – 180K audio book, right at your fingers


What Might Be Happening When Your Leader Does Nothing

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 6.54.31 AMI was sitting at a stoplight waiting to turn right – 3rd in line.  The light turned green but the lead car didn’t move.  It just sat there. My brow furrow, thinking that the large SUV driver was on the phone or daydreaming or flipping radio stations.  However, I was more patient than the young man behind him, in front of me, who laid on the horn – first in short blasts, then in long drones.

Still the SUV didn’t move, green light and all.

As I watched and began to fume, from the front of the SUV, a young mom pushing a stroller that held a sleeping 2yr-old came into view, crossing past the SUV and onto the sidewalk.  The honking stopped.  All of us drivers exhaled and we realized that waiting was the smartest thing for the leader to do.  Had the leader charged ahead, tragedy would ensue.

If you’ve been in leadership, you know that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.  You can’t make a decision because you are needing to see what the market is going to do.  You have to wait on moving forward with an initiative because you don’t have the right people in place.  You hold back on saying ‘yes’ to one department because you know that it would decimate the goals of another.

Sometimes leaders have to wait.

The problem comes for those who are following – for those who don’t or can’t see the big picture.  We become upset with our leader and think that they are indecisive, lazy or afraid.  We ‘honk our horns’ in frustration and wonder why he or she won’t approve a spending request.  We become myopic in our quest to further that which has been entrusted to us.

If you’re in that situation, here are three questions to ask yourself if your leader seems to be doing nothing:

  1. Is there something that I’m not seeing that he is?  Maybe there is better option coming into view that I can’t see yet.
  2. If my leader moved forward right now, what other departments or people may be affected?  Maybe approving your venture would slow down or stop the off-shore team that is about to launch into a new area.
  3. What else can I do to cast vision about the importance of my initiative?  Maybe my leader doesn’t know what I need.

Of course there are leaders who are lazy or procrastinate unnecessarily, but unless there’s a pattern, always give them the benefit of the doubt.  In other words, lay off your horn.  

Add to the conversation by making a comment below … 



By the way, here is a video of what could have happened if the SUV when forward:  CLICK HERE.

How to Beat Distractions

One of the greatest stories of leadership is in the Bible, the book of Nehemiah.  The story chronicles Nehemiah’s vision and mission of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Deluged with enemy attacks and coercion, Nehemiah had to trust his gut and his God and keep focused on the task at hand.

One distraction came when some of Nehemiah’s enemies found out how well he was doing and tried to get him to leave his mission to meet with them.  Nehemiah told them something that all of us who call ourselves leaders should repeat daily.  He said, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”

How many times a day do we get distracted and unfocused from that which we are called to do?  How many times do opportunities present themselves but they do not fit with your own personal or organizational mission?  Stay focused on that which you feel call to do and you’ll complete that for which you are wired.  When you feel distracted, remind yourself like Nehemiah did, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”


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