Catalyst

Learning from Life and Leadership

A Signpost Called Disappointment

Not all life plans work out. That’s what happened to a young painter you know, but not as a painter.

Disappointment

 

From an early age, all he wanted to do was paint. He journeyed to Paris where he painted The Gallery of the Louvre, one of the more famous paintings from an American painter.

 

But art did not pay all the bills. He spent some time tinkering with ideas for inventions. Yet, art was his passion.

 

When he returned to America, he dabbled in politics. Yet, he remained one of the premier American artists of the 19th century. His painting of the House of Representatives hangs on display today in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

 

But life took a cruel turn. Four great American paintings would grace the rotunda of the Capitol. Everyone assumed he would be one of the four. However, a few political enemies blocked his commission and Samuel F. B. Morse was crushed. He put down his brush, never to put it to canvas again.

 

Morse’s disappointment redirected his life in an unexpected way. From The wreckage of dashed hopes arose the completion of the telegraph. He developed a code that bears his name (Morse Code), which made instantaneous communication possible.

 

Disappointment happens to everyone, but there are some strategies to help you deal with the disappointments which do come.

 

First, change your expectations. Many expect to live a charmed life and believe everything will line up to their wishes. When you step down off the pedestal of perfection, you can see more clearly.

 

Second, develop in many areas. Morse’ work in invention kept a door open when his passion closed. Never be a “one horse charlie” but expand your horizons to stay ready with a Plan B.

 

Samuel F. B. Morse changed the course of history in his greatest loss. What will you do with your disappointment?


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A Signpost Called Disappointment