Excerpt from Chapter 7: Not So Great Expectations

Chapter 7 of the Half a Glass: The Realist's Guide - Not So Great Expectations

Dealing with Disappointment


Disappointment is a regular occurrence for many people. It happens to everyone. You’re expectations take control and you think something good is going to happen and WHAMMO! It doesn’t. Or it does, yet it’s not nearly as good as you thought it would be. Kind of like any Harrison Ford movie in the past 15 years.


You know Harrison Ford, you like Harrison Ford; he had a great track record for the 1980’s and early 90’s. Then he started making crap like Six Days, Seven Nights, Random Hearts or worse, Hollywood Homicide. And you fall for it every time he makes a movie because you remember all the good stuff he made. Maybe every couple of years he sneaks in an acceptable film, like What Lies Beneath or the barely passable but not horrible Firewall. Basically, while it’s mediocre crap, you want to believe.


We do the same thing with people and experiences. I was always told, especially in high school, “Enjoy this time, they’ll be the best years of your life.” I always thought “Really? This is the best? It gets worse from here? Wow…”


Thankfully, that was a big huge lie, told to me by bitter older people whose own lives turned to crap. I’ve found life gets better as you get older. At least for me it has.


Any time another person is responsible for your own happiness, you’ll most likely be disappointed. You can’t control other people so why put expectations on them? You can hope they do what you’d like. Wish them well and give them advice. Other people can only disappoint you if you put expectations on them. Doing that takes you out of the driver seat and now other people control your outcomes and responses. Sounds like a bad deal, if you ask me.


You may need to make compromises. Don’t fall into the trap of “wanting it all.” You’ll always be disappointed. Try for some at first. Then, down the road, try for more. Then, when you really have all cylinders firing, try for as much as you can get. But “all”? All is perfection and that can never be obtained. Besides, perfect is boring. Imperfection can be so much more fun!


When disappointment happens, understand that it is not the end of the world. You may have missed out on an opportunity this time. Don’t worry. Another will come along. The next time you’ll have the knowledge of the previous failure to help guide you, unless it’s the actual end of the world. Then we’re all screwed, so realize you’re in the same boat as the rest of the planet and we are all disappointed.


You can aspire to be something better, just don’t expect it to happen.


You can hope to improve, just don’t get too disappointed if it doesn’t.


Maintaining your positive attitude while tempering it with some healthy negative thinking will allow you to be happier in the long run without sacrificing your dreams to do so.


I would expect nothing less!


Learn more in Craig’s latest book: Half a Glass – The Realist’s Guide.


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