Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.
As we go through life each of us encounters occasional disappointment. Over the years I have learned the real mettle of someone is how they handle disappointment. Far too many of us react with unreasonable anger and in the end hurt ourselves. How often have you seen people walk away severing all ties with others as their reaction to something not going their way? It is like the kid that leaves with his ball so others can’t play only to find he not only can’t play that day but any other day either, paying a bigger price then those he left.
I have often seen people who have resigned a role based on what they said was the principle of the thing. They not only lost the opportunity to participate in future successes they also lost any chance of helping to solve the original problem.
A vice-president of our local chamber of commerce congratulated me many years ago for helping to make good things happen in our city. In truth I did not do that much, but he said that he liked that I lost gracefully and came back to play another day. I don’t know if I deserved his praise but what he said stuck with me to this day. Sadly it seems that we have become such a polarized society that too many of us have become quick to anger when we don’t get our way and end up burning any bridges that might allow us to do something constructive.
Here are some ideas for handling disappointment from an article on Salon written by Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton that I think has merit:
Everyone faces disappointments in life, both large and small. Unfortunately, many of people choose to sit around and complain or whine about their problems to the immense irritation of others. Learning to deal with your disappointments constructively can make you a stronger person in the end.
Here are 5 tips for effectively dealing with your disappointments:
- Acknowledge what you are feeling. You can honestly express the emotions that you are experiencing feeling without blaming others or punishing everyone in sight. This is about how you feel about the situation, not about other people. There is no one right or wrong way to feel. Your feelings are valid and if you do not voice your opinion then you will begin to harbor resentment and stress yourself out. Be honest with yourself about how you really feel about the situation.
- Put and keep things in perspective. Even the tiniest of disappointments can seem monumental at first. But once you have expressed your hurt, frustration, or anger, take a step back and look at the larger picture. How much of an effect is this disappointment going to have on you tomorrow, next week, or next year? Taking time to reflect and step away from a situation will help calm your nerves so that you will be better able to handle the disappointment.
- Do not doubt yourself. Sometimes disappointment can make you feel like a total failure. You may wonder why these things “keep” happening to you, or you may begin to think that you were not being wise to get your hopes up in the first place. But none of that is the truth! Do not succumb to this thinking. Do not allow yourself to give in to these negative thoughts! Instead of beating yourself up, think about what you could have been done differently and always, always, always learn from the experience.
- Look for solutions or compromises. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot have your way all the time, but often there will be a second option that is agreeable to each party.
- Reassess and make adjustments, if necessary. Sometimes when you experience disappointment, it may be a sign that you need to re-examine your priorities. Learn to be flexible. Refocusing your attention on your new goals will help you work through your disappointment.
Do not give up!!!
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.
A man goes to the doctor to find out about his tests. “It’s real bad, I’m afraid”, says the doc “you’ve got a disease so new that it hasn’t even got a name yet – we just call it ‘Blue 56′. The only certain thing is that you’ll be dead in three days.”
Naturally the guy is devastated, and goes into a big depression. His girlfriend suggests they go to Vegas to cheer him up just a bit till the end comes. So he goes reluctantly. As he walks into the Casino, he’s the millionth customer and wins a brand new Rolls Royce. Then he pulls the handle of a slot machine as he passes, and wins the golden jackpot of $7 million. He sits down for a rest at the Blackjack table and wins $100,000 – straight 21 and he can’t even be bothered to turn the cards.
Weighed down with money, he throws it onto the nearest table. But it’s the roulette wheel and the money is on 22 – which promptly comes up! “Jeez,” says the croupier, “I never seen luck like that in my whole life!”
“No, you don’t understand” says the guy, “I’ve got blue 56.”
“Darn! Now you’ve won the raffle!!”
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized, and cruelly mocked, but it cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
Michael J. Fox
The mother of a problem child was advised by a psychiatrist: “You are far too upset and worried about your son. I suggest you take tranquilizers regularly.”
On her next visit the psychiatrist asked, “Have the tranquilizers calmed you down?”
“Yes” the mother answered.
“And how is your son now?” he asked.
“Who cares?” she replied.
Mary: So at the end of our first date, he told me he wanted me for a friend.
Jill: All right.
Mary: Yeah, but on the second date, he brought the friend!
A customer was really hassling an airline agent at the ticket counter — yelling and using foul language. However, the agent was polite, pleasant and smiled while the customer continued to abuse her.
When the man finally left, the next person in line said to the agent, “Does that happen often? I can’t believe how nice you were to him.”
The agent smiled and said, “No problem, I took care of it. He’s going to Detroit. His bags are going to Bangkok.”
She said, “The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.”
He said: On the first evening back from overseas, my girl-friend’s understanding parents left us alone in the living room. Naturally, we did not talk all the time. In the midst of a kiss, I noticed her little sister in her nightgown watching us from the doorway. “If you will be a good girl and go to bed, I will give you a quarter,” I said to her.
Without taking the bribe or saying a word, she ran off but was very soon back again. “Here is a dollar,” she said. “I wanna watch.”
The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.
Note: No Daily for the next two days Ray is going on a field trip.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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