Imagine the little kid who’s been waiting and behaving all day so he could get his favorite treat — ice cream. He’s now holding the triple decker Superman flavor ice cream cone in his tiny little hand. There’s a smile going across his face from ear to ear. He leans forward, tongue coming out, he’s about an inch away from taking that first delicious lick…..when whammo. All three scoops of ice cream fall to the ground. He looks up, eyes wide and full of shock and astonishment. Tears start to form, the smile has turned to a frown, and then he lets out an earth shattering “Wah!!!” Life-altering disappointment.
It’s a fact of life…unless you just live in a cocoon and never dream or try to achieve something higher, disappointment will creep its way into your world. Come to think of it, I think disappointment can even happen then (except for maybe the cocoon).
Maybe it’s having your cable go out when your favorite show is about to come on. Or maybe the family vacation you’ve planned for months was dampened by rain. Maybe your best friend you haven’t seen in 5 years cancels your planned dinner at the last minute.
As an entrepreneur, it could be losing a client or not getting the big contract you really, really wanted! It could also be disappointment in yourself. It could be a series of small disappointments that — by themselves — are no big deal, but they happen all at once and each one feels like a heavier and heavier brick placed on your back that you’re trying to carry.
No matter what caused it, disappointment is a natural part of life.
The trick is to not let it envelope you; don’t dwell on it. Stop the negative thoughts. Recognize the frustration and regret you’re feeling, then make a plan to work through it.
Indeed, sometimes disappointment can actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise! Play the devil’s advocate and think of the brighter and better things that can happen since the cable went out and you can’t watch TV. It gives you a chance to read a book or play a board game with your family.
Was the client or the big contract really that great of a loss? Maybe this perceived setback actually opens up room for an even better opportunity!
Look for the silver lining — it’s there — and take control of your life and your thoughts. Don’t wallow in the disappointment too long. Acknowledge it and move on! Now, we know in the case of the little boy, mommy surely bought him another ice cream cone and took precautions…she got it in a cup! That turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The little boy could then enjoy his ice cream and not have to rush eating it before it dripped all over his hands.
Adam Urbanski posted the picture in this article on Facebook yesterday, and I think it’s a great reminder for all of us! We are in control and nobody else can make us happy — well, except in the instance of the little boy!