Do you guys remember last year when I missed a perfect score in one of my graduate classes by one point? I was so upset because I was so close, but I didn’t reach the goal. I told you that before I finish my Master’s degree, I want to get a perfect score in a course; well I did it; I got 624 points out of 624. But now that it is all said and done, it ended up being no big deal. I worked so hard for something that ended up not feeling so great when I got it. Have you ever wanted something so bad that you work so hard on achieving it, but when you do, it was a disappointment?
I am reading in the book of Ecclesiastes where King Solomon has the same sediments that I am having. You see, King Solomon was the richest, wisest man on the earth at one time. He achieved great things in his lifetime. In his writings, he speaks of the great buildings and monuments that he built, the knowledge that he acquired in his lifetime, all the beautiful woman and all the pleasures that he had in life. At one point, Solomon says, ““Look, I am better educated than any of the kings before me in Jerusalem. I have greater wisdom and knowledge,” So I worked hard to be wise instead of foolish, but now I realize that even this was like chasing the wind. For the more my wisdom, the more my grief; to increase knowledge only increases distress.”
Even King Solomon was disappointed with all his success. So, the question is, “Why do we get disappointed?” I took a few days to think about what I believe is the answer to this question. Here is what I came up with: disappointment is internal. I know that sounds a little deep, so stay with me here. When we feel disappointment, we are actually feeling an emotion. We create an emotional response to the situation, or at least I did. It all has to do with EXPECTATIONS. That’s right; expectation is the reason we feel disappointed.
King Solomon expected that if he was the richest, wisest man on the earth he should also be the happiest man on the earth. When he was not happy, he felt the emotion of disappointment because he did not get what he EXPECTED. When I got a perfect score in a course, I EXPECTED to feel elated, but I didn’t FEEL that way, so I was disappointed.
We get disappointed when things fail to live up to our expectations. If you think about it, we attach expectation to everything in life. We EXPECT people around us to make us happy, we EXPECT our jobs to make us feel purposeful and we EXPECT life to be joyful. We are constantly disappointed that it doesn’t work like this. So, if I am correct about this, then what is the solution?
Possibly, if we live in the moment more, we would view life as an adventure without expecting certain outcomes, and therefore, we would be less disappointed. You know the old saying, “Enjoy the ride”. Also, if we value all aspects of life as experiences that help to mold us into better people, then maybe we will be less likely to end up disappointed when things don’t go our way; “Make the best out of every situation”.
Lastly, just relax and enjoy the journey. Let’s not place such high expectations on others, situations and life in general. Let’s just relax and enjoy this life that we are blessed to be living. Being enthusiastic and positive about life will make life fun and exciting. After thinking about this for a couple days, I have concluded that the best way to fight against disappointments is to widen my parameters and accept the fact that life is not perfect, people are not perfect and the circumstances that I face daily will not be perfect. But I will wake up with a smile on my face and peace in my heart and I will press on. I will replace feelings of disappointment with hope, love and peace.
Good night, Ms. B.