You learn not to carry a disappointment in you when you realize its futility.
Yesterday, I delivered my ‘Help Yourself To Happiness’ Talk at a Rotary Club. I shared anecdotes and learnings from my Life (read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal), telling people that we all have the choice to be happy despite our circumstances.
A member of the audience came forward after my Talk and asked me, “What is your biggest disappointment?”
I replied, instantaneously: “I have no disappointments.”
“But how can that be,” suggested the gentleman, “when you are in such a terrible financial state, when you have no money to cover even your living expenses, when you owe so much to so many people. How can you say you have no disappointments in Life?”
I smiled and shared my learning from Life with the man.
It is not that I had not felt disappointed before. It is not as though I don’t feel disappointed when our efforts to put our business back on track fail every single time that we try. But you learn, I told him, to not carry a disappointment in you when you realize its futility.
What is a disappointment? Simple – an unfulfilled expectation is a disappointment. A lost opportunity causes a disappointment. But Life does not bother whether you have an expectation or not. If you have an expectation from Life, and it goes unfulfilled, it is your problem. Life just goes on. Similarly, you got an opportunity, and if you blew it, it’s your problem. Life gave you that opportunity, you did not make use of it. Who is to blame? And what is the point in holding on to the blame, the guilt, the disappointment – the lost moment, the lost opportunity is never going to come back. So, why hold on endlessly to this feeling of being disappointed?
In my case, surely, there’s a lot of scope for disappointment – I need not have taken some business decisions that led to our Firm’s bankruptcy and to my family being pushed to the brink of penury. I ought to have saved money for our children’s future, when our business was doing very well, and when my wife used to implore me to do so. That time’s gone. Those questionable decisions were made. The opportunities were lost. Events happened and we are in the state we are in. What has happened is irreversible. What’s the point in being disappointed now about whatever has happened in the past?
Understanding and avoiding disappointments helps in any context in Life. A disappointment always brings grief and depression along with it. Together they make a debilitating cocktail of emotions that can hold you hostage forever. Instead of being a slave to these emotions, be free. Learn from your mistakes, your choices, your decisions and let go of all disappointments and guilt. Forgive yourself for what you did. Forgive others for what they have done. This does not mean you become casual about what you have caused. This is not abdication or irresponsibility. I certainly don’t see dropping disappointments as irresponsibility. In fact, in choosing to remain non-worrying about my future, non-frustrated about the outcomes of my efforts, and non-suffering about whatever pain I am having to undergo, I am actually helping myself to happiness. This state of happiness helps me focus. It helps me see the futility of being pinned down by disappointments. It helps me let go of any wasteful emotion that will weigh me down – like anger, grief, guilt, anxiety, worry, fear – whatever! It is only through focus and fervor that I can retain the faith to change my current reality. So, to me, happiness is a hugely profitable choice.
You too can profit from happiness. Just let go of all your disappointments and whatever is pinning you down. Feel liberated, find focus and move forward – freely!
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