Life has a way of bringing us disappointments. This is completely inevitable. Even if the disappointment did not come today; eventually a let down will find each and every one of us. The event may be personal, professional or even political. When it happens, our world is rocked. It is easy for us to get caught up in the moment and have an extreme reaction. Especially when we feel passionate about the situation. Today I offer three action steps each of us can take to ensure disappointment has as minimal of an impact on our day to day functioning as possible.
#1- Recommit to personal excellence.
When life gets us down, we often want to just give up. We tried and we did not succeed. All that effort without the end reward can make us feel emotionally and physically exhausted. When we start feeling this way we have to recommit to being the best possible version of our self. It is not what is happening in the world around us that is important. It is what is happening in our hearts and homes. Do not forget your inner strength. When life brings disappointment, turning our attention to the inside is a way to ensure we stay committed and engaged in creating the life we want to live. We cannot allow the outside world to detract from our ability to be happy with ourselves and the lives we are living.
#2- We must stop trying to control things we have no control over.
Control is one of the issues that brings the most distress to the human experience. When we were children we learned it did not matter if we won or lost, it was how we played the game. Not how the other team played; how we played. As adults, we often forget this fundamental wisdom. If you cannot control a situation, there is no use in spending time, energy or effort complaining about how it turned out. Reflect on the situation if you must, but do not stay in that reflective mode for too long. If we spend too many moments dwelling on the past, we miss our opportunity to make a difference in the here and now. What is done is done. What can you do today to make life good for you and your loved ones.
#3- Put things into perspective.
How does this situation impact you and your actions on a daily basis. Do you still have to get up and go to work? Are there still people in your world who love and respect you for who you are. Will the sun still rise tomorrow. I am not suggesting anyone of us give up our convictions, but if our daily routine is more impacted by our level of upset (our reaction) than it is by the event that actually occurred (the action), maybe we have to consider we could be actively making the situation worse. What has happened has happened. It is what we are going to do about it that matters.
This advice on handling disappointments can be applied to all difficult situations as they arise. For it is through our daily actions that we create the life we are living. Not through the things that happened yesterday nor the things we fear about tomorrow. Life is here, now, in the present moment. This is where we need to focus our effort and attention.