In our day-to-day life, we encounter many disappointments. Sometimes, it is our close confidant or business partner, who lets us down. Sometimes, even well thought out and carefully planned business propositions crumble like a wreck. Other times, we feel disappointed if our children are not able to live up to our expectations in academics or competitions. Sports lovers feel disappointed if their team fails to perform up to the mark. Sometimes it seems as if the whole world and nature are kicking us in the head just because they can do it.
If we wish to live a happy and contended life, we need to learn how to handle life’s disappointments and lay the road to self-improvement. First of all, we need to analyze and introspect whether our expectations are rational and realistic. It should be understood that our expectations are the root cause of our disappointments. Therefore, we need to set achievable and realistic targets and expectations.
For self-improvement, you need to develop an attitude to convert our disappointments into opportunities to learn. The next time, when you feel disappointed by some situations, you need to look into your mind. You should examine the situation and start to think about whether or not your expectations are genuine and realistic. A complete self-introspection will make you realize that most of your big disappointments stem from utopian anticipations and expectations.
Should we have no expectations?
We must realize that disappointments and failures in our endeavors are great impediments to our self-growth. Sometimes, disappointments are traumatic which might prod us not to have any expectations. The crux of the issue is: our goals and expectations should be achievable with the achievable resources and potential sometimes.
Our adverse reactions to our expectations and disappointments are highly unrealistic. Next time, when we feel disappointed we should first make sure we check to see whether our reactions are justified. Normally, disappointment of various degrees can frustrate us. Such frustration will lead us to become complacent. Needless to say, complacency results in stagnation and life becomes static without any further advancement. So, our reaction to failures and disappointments should not be allowed to become a hurdle for our progress. When we feel disappointed, we need to make a self-suggestion (auto-suggestion) that the failures are the stepping stones for the success, perhaps a great success.
Looking on the brighter side
We must learn that disappointment and failure bring us opportunities to grow. Joel Osteen says it best: “You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”
For self-growth, it is important to learn that disappointments are life testers. It is up to us how we take failures – whether they break us down or we break them down to make a reasonable progress in our life.
Buddha and the bright side of disappointment.
We can learn from the life of Buddha how Buddha perceived disappointment in life. He spent several years as a hard core yogi. During those years, Buddha spent most of his time fasting and sitting alone at one place without moving. One day he realized that this extreme path was not going to bear any fruit and so he gave up that life in search of something more efficacious and effective. He spent many years mastering the art of meditation and realized that it was not going to work. He did not feel disappointed; he rather ramped up his thirst for the enlightenment. He saw the brighter side of life. Most of us curse our fate if life does not favor us. But Buddha moved on to new things. He knew that the time he spent on meditation was not a wasteful experience. Without that work of meditation, he would have never progressed to the next stage. Without it, he would have never become the great man whose teachings change the life of millions throughout the history.
We need to emulate Buddha. We need to understand that failure and disappointment are a few steps in a series of encounters in our lives that would lead us to better and bigger things. We need to realize the fact that if we continue pondering over the failures and disappointments, we will tend to stagnate. It is always wise and right if we can learn the art of converting bitter disappointments as a catalyst for changing them into better opportunities and ultimately a grand success.
For a complete betterment of our lives, we should learn to get rid of the scar caused by the disappointments. We need to set targets that are realistic and within our reach. If we want to take on a mammoth task, we need to put in mammoth efforts.
Let me conclude by quoting Paulo Coelho; he says, “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”