Last week has been filled with disappointment for me. Things I thought were good to go fell through, people I thought about in a certain way changed in my eyes and even an important legal letter I sent was returned to me this morning, telling me to resend to different a address which will make the whole process even longer. As I shift through the dregs of everything that happened I can’t help but feel let down, rejected and stupid.
Of course I know that disappointment is a natural occurrence and actually very important for learning how to deal with difficult situations. If children don’t learn how to deal with failure it is much more likely they’ll be prone to give up and not try hard when adults. So is failure really such a bad thing?
In a world in which success seems to be the only thing worth talking about it is hard to see the point in being disappointed, in failing at something. But studies have shown that there is no correlation between success and happiness. People who strive all their lives to reach certain goals or work hard to earn a lot of money and climb the corporate ladder, often say in their twilight years that they regret no living in the moment as they were always looking towards their goals and the future.
Sometimes the reason why we are disappointed is that we have unattainable ideas of how something should be or our goals are beyond what we can achieve. This doesn’t mean dream small it only means that with big dreams we need to know it will take time and effort. So instead of being disappointed in not becoming an international movie-star over night, we can take joy in having the lead role in the community theater. Or our best-selling Pulitzer prize winning novel may take a while but our article in the local newspaper can be celebrated today.
Other times we are disappointed because although we seem to be working hard to solve a problem, to loss weight or make something happen we forget that in is not always about the amount of work we put in but about the quality of what we do. So without realising it we have been setting ourselves up for failure and won’t be able to achieve our goals. When disappointment kicks in, it can help to take a step back and readjust what we are doing, change our pattern and try again. This way failing isn’t something bad but a lesson learnt and the first step in the right direction.
Sadly disappointment can also occur for no other reason than life is not fair and bad things happen. This means that just because we want something doesn’t mean we are going to get it. But it does mean that as soon as we realise that we will fail at things or people will let us down, we can move on and put the disappointment on a shelf along with our other life-experience memorabilia.
So the point in disappointment is to learn, live now, change and build up an impressive collection of experiences. There is no shame in feeling upset or being annoyed when you are disappointed, but the sooner you let it go the quicker you can enjoy yourself and what you have now.
With that said I am going to take a few minutes, drink my cup of tea and grumble but then start the week with a new hopefully can-do attitude.