In talking with a friend of mine recently about an upcoming event, I asked if he was looking forward to it. He replied, “I don’t like to look forward to things too much because I don’t want to be disappointed if they don’t happen.” While I certainly understand not wanting to experience a lot of disappointment, I have come to the conclusion that I am just not willing to live my life being afraid that something might go wrong. Let me explain further.
If you or I want to avoid disappointment, then we will have to live with no hope or anticipation of good things happening in our life in the future. Disappointment occurs when one of our expectations is unmet. Have you ever stopped to think about how miserable and sad it would be to go through life without having something to look forward to? Anticipating a brighter future with hope is one of the most powerful motivations that a person can experience. I will be 70 years old in a couple of months and I still believe with all of my heart that the very best days of my life are still ahead of me. And, because I hold that belief, it is possible that I may experience disappointment if things don’t turn out the way I had hoped. That is just how life works.
However, there is something else I would like for you to consider. It is true that pain and sadness and heartache accompany disappointment, but it is also true that excitement and love and enthusiasm accompany hope. While pain is a reality that you and I may experience from time to time when things do not go as we planned, isn’t it better to live with hope in our hearts? I think it is. As far as I am concerned, the pain is not as bad as the hope is good! Did you get that? Pain is not as bad as the hope is good!
Now, you may be thinking that I have completely lost my mind. I certainly realize the difficulty of trying to communicate to you in just a few paragraphs something that has literally taken me years to grasp. But, this concept is very powerful if you will “sink your teeth into it.”
Because of the fear of failing, many people are afraid to begin a new business venture, enter into a new relationship, make a sizeable investment, or step out and try something new. What that actually means is that they are afraid they will be disappointed. But, the truth is that they are just as likely to succeed and will be able to experience the joy that comes from taking a risk. I don’t know where I first heard it, but someone once said, “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb because that is where all of the fruit is!” That simple statement conveys what I am trying to say.
Disappointment is not something that any of us looks forward to, yet it is not something we should run away from either. It is just part of life. And, as I said earlier, I am simply not willing to live without the qualities of hope and expectation being part of my daily life. I have learned that disappointment will not kill me. If anything, it helps strengthen me to be able to handle the next opportunity that I face. It is part of the process of life that keeps us learning and growing on a daily basis.
So, just remember that if you try to avoid being disappointed, then you will not experience much hope or joy or expectation either. You will also end up disappointed! My hope and expectation factors are very, very high. Therefore, disappointment has the potential to bring me very low. But, that is okay. It will not kill me to be disappointed. This concept is working for me and giving me a lot of balance in my life and I can promise that as you practice and experience it, it will do the same for you!
Tip: I will experience disappointment, but that is okay!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm