Disappointment only exists in the context of our expectations.
If we expected nothing, then we would never have anything to be disappointed about.
If you were expecting a big bonus, but didn’t get one, you might get upset. This is not because of the absence of the big bonus itself, it is only because your expectation wasn’t met. If you hadn’t been expecting a bonus in the first place, there would be nothing to be upset about.
This is important to keep in mind, because often times we sink in pools of disappointment not because what is actually happening to us it bad, but because it is failing to live up to what we wanted.
I had visions that when I didn’t have a standard 9 to 5 job any more, I would finally find time in the day to do everything I wanted: exercise, read lots of books and other people’s blogs, tackle more of my Regret Me Not lists, meditate, spend lots of time connecting with friends and a whole host of other things on top of the actual work I’m doing right now to pay the bills.
I’ve been feeling disappointed that I haven’t been able to fit as many things in as I wanted to and am hard on myself for not somehow being able to conjure up magical powers that enable me to function without sleep or cram 40 hours of work into a 24-hour period.
But when I stopped to think about it, the only reason I’m feeling disappointed is because my expectations for what was possible were so big. It’s not a bad thing to set your expectations high – it means that you stretch and really push yourself to try and meet the bar you’ve set.
In the end though, if you spend too much time focusing on how your expectations aren’t being met, you miss all of the amazing things that are happening. Especially the things you never knew to expect in the first place.