The 365 Commitment

The W’s of Disappointment

We often feel disappointed in life. It is a natural sadness when we do not get something what we want, or something is taken away. It is a natural emotion and probably a very necessary one. You should not be upset by this emotion, it happens for very good reasons. The reasons we feel disappointment are actually a tremendous learning experience about our own selves. In fact, have you ever had repeated disappointment over a long period of time? Or perhaps several disappointments in a row? Instead of looking at this as a bad thing, look at it as an opportunity to really learn about what makes you tick.

You may or may not like the answer, but that is ok. In order for you to improve as a person, you have to really understand what is motivating you even if you are unable to articulate the motivation. For example, many people are motivated by recognition even though they will deny that fact publicly. I hate to admit, but I was disappointed by some news that I received and I was feeling really bad about it. I thought that is curious, let me ask myself a few questions. So I did, and I learned that I was disappointed because someone else was recognized for a particular success that I was directly responsible for. What was bothering me? Who caused it? When did this happen, what time frame? How did this impact me? I asked all the W questions of that disappointment and I really got to the heart of the matter and in the process learned.

You see I was allowing myself to be motivated by something that I thought I wanted, but really did not. I got caught up in something that was not really that important to me at all. Why did I allow myself to go down that path? I was being influenced by external parties to want something that had no real benefit to me personally. This happens a lot more than we realize. People convince us that some material object is required for our happiness and then we get disappointed when we cannot achieve it. By taking a pause when we feel disappointment, and really asking why, we can determine what the source of this feeling is coming from. Often it will be a true disappointment and in that case, you can plan to do something constructive to do better the next time. However, other times, it will be for a ridiculous reason and you will feel relieved rather than disappointed.

Guy Reams

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