The level of attachment determines the level of disappointment
Disappointments look differently for everyone. As for me, I have a visionary personality. I’m quite good at seeing the future as it could be. In addition to seeing the future, I can also see many of the steps it will take to get there. That’s a great attribute to have, right? Ironically, life has a mind of its own. Despite my knack for efficiency, life never seems to think like I do. What’s in my head never looks quite like the results. Thus enters disappointment.
Nonetheless, your disappointments can be different. They could sound like:
“I was sure she/he was the one. I am devastated.”
“The business idea was fantastic and everyone thought it was a solid plan. It turned out horribly. What a big disappointment.”
“I thought this was the breakthrough opportunity that would provide the future I desired. Man, was I disappointed.”
In other words, you and I together could journal for pages a list of the disappointments we have faced in life. In reality, we eventually get over them, but there is a way to reduce disappointments significantly. Consequently, we can overcome disappointments and increase happiness at the same time. It’s like a BOGO! 🙂
Embracing what is
The first step to reducing disappointments and increasing happiness is to embrace what is. Not what could be or what should be, but WHAT IS. We get caught up in our thoughts about what life is going to look like when (blank), our preconceived expectations and results that we miss happiness. Today is where we find happiness. Happiness is letting each situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be. Happiness is found in the present moment. And nothing is more precious than being in the moment. Fully alive. Fully aware.
Surrendering the Future
Secondly, we must surrender the future. Indeed, when we look back in history at the greatest visionaries of all time, many failed over and over again. As a single example, Apple fired Steve Jobs, the very company he had the vision to create. The record shows he didn’t see that one coming. No matter how wonderful our vision is, no matter how perfect our plans are, we have no control over the future.
Thus the higher our excitement goes for the future, the harder our fall to disappointment will be. Granted I’m not saying don’t ever get excited. What I’m saying is get excited about today. What exists in this present moment and the actions that are within your control to take – get excited about that! Outcomes are fickle, they can be better than we expected, worse than expected, or something we totally didn’t expect at all.
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on the things you are currently excited about:
- Journal a list of the things that have you excited? Are they in the future and out of your control? How can you bring that excitement to the present moment and to the process of reaching that future goal?
- Take a look at your life. What is exciting? What can you do to create the habit of viewing what is with excitement and happiness vs. looking at future possibilities as the source of happiness?
- Who do you know that is experiencing disappointment right now? Take a moment to share and help them see all the exciting things that are in their life to be happy about today. How can you help them surrender there attachment to the future?