It would be a rare day in our lives, if we could live 24 hours without having to deal with some type of disappointment. In this week’s lesson, we will delve into the topic of Dealing with Disappointment.
The chances that our expectations will not be met each day by individuals, governments, businesses, clients, venders, organizations, family members and the like are very likely. In fact in my opinion, as you mature through the life cycle and your expectations for competences rises, it seems you are likely to be let down in some way by the simple majority of the people you come in contact with. So what gives here?
Did you ever stop to think why you are disappointed so often? Are these disappointments just happening to you? Are you wondering if your expectations are too high? Or perhaps do you start to wonder if you are doing something wrong? Maybe! Have you taken the time to understand that you will be disappointed often and that you must be prepared to deal with disappointment?
Because we are given the natural ability to freely choose our actions, it means that we are also free to make mistakes. So disappointments and mistakes will forever be a part of the human experience. To wish that others should be perfect when dealing with us is a wish that cannot come true. For even you and I make mistakes and will continue to do so as long as we roam this planet.
However, being prepared for disappointments and being persistent in overcoming the obstacles they present will make you a stronger and more determined individual. You need a strong character to make it in the fast paced world that we live in. You have to know what you want and plan carefully to get it. You can't let others not meeting up to their responsibilities stop you from meeting yours.
It took me a long time to realize that you can't change the people around you if they don't want to change. You can't change the clerk in the store that is doing a lousy job. You can't change the contractor that always breaks his promises to perform. You can't change a family member to do things the way you think is right. But the one person that you can change is YOURSELF! You can change how you react to disappointments. It's within your power to laugh at the chain of events that occur during a day rather than be angry and disgusted. It's within your power to have the determination of an ant, who finds a way to accomplish its mission, regardless of the obstacles it faces.
Your REACTION to disappointment is where your power lies. And whether you want to admit to it or not, you CHOOSE how you’re going to react. No one can “make you” react a certain way. Many times reactions are learned. If your father slammed the phone down when he was angry, you may have learned to do the same thing. The peaceful alternative always exists; it just has to be consciously chosen.
But why choose to react peacefully? What are the benefits? Well, to begin with, if you want to live a happier life, it’s best to choose a peaceful reaction to life’s disappointments. If you’re constantly yelling and upset about how someone else messed up, then your proclamations of wanting to be a happy person are just hot air. If you want to be happy - PROVE IT!
When you choose peaceful reactions, not only will you have a happy mental life, but you will also have a healthier physical life. Our bodies are like chemical factories that are more powerful than any pharmacy on Earth. Every emotion is translated by the body into chemicals that have measurable, observable effects. Joy, love, and contentment bolster your physical being, while negative emotions like anger and stress cause all types of harm and imbalance in our bodies.
So imagine this: You live in a world where mistakes are made and will always be made. Would it be logical if every time someone makes a mistake, or causes some disappointment, for you to choose (through your emotions) to mentally and physically harm yourself? You shouldn’t harm anyone, let alone yourself.
Living happily does not mean that everything around you must be perfect. It means choosing to be happy in spite of the fact that it will never be perfect. Try to be more prepared for the disappointments ahead of you. They will surely come. Laugh it off and move on!