It is an unfortunately common occurrence to find people who end up disappointed in themselves because they feel that they failed to meet their own expectations. Perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself. I know I have.
Fair enough. But consider this carefully: Were they actual expectations in the first place? Or just constructs of wishful thinking?
This distinction is important. It’s patently ridiculous to feel disappointed with yourself just because a wish didn’t materialize, right? (And if that seems obvious, it’s because it is…)
So, if you ever find yourself feeling disappointed in yourself because you haven’t met an expectation, it is probably because you never actually set it as a specific expectation of yourself. Yep, it’s that painfully simple.
Because once you actually set a specific expectation in your mind, you’re looking at a goal. And once you’ve set yourself a goal you’re more than likely to achieve it – or at least come close enough to the desired outcome that you can just readjust your expectations for the next one!
Remember: just “having” expectations is more or less wishful thinking. And wishful thinking is the easiest way to find yourself ensconced in the comfortable beanbag chair of self-pity (easy to fall into, tough to get out of).
To err is human. It’s how we learn. So never waste time & energy feeling disappointed in yourself. Just set yourself a specific target, aim, and leap!
As individuals, we all have the lifelong responsibility to unrelentingly cultivate our own strength.
But the nature of things is such that we need personal power to live as we choose and get the outcomes we want.
So just cultivating strength is not enough. We also need to channel that strength through confidence & focus to develop the power – the ability to act – to live successfully.
Think about it. And channel away!
Let’s say you set a goal, made a plan & followed it. But the outcome you expected and worked towards just did not materialize.
So did you fail? Well it depends on how you choose to frame your outcome. You see, you have the freedom to frame the outcome as either a SETBACK or as a FAILURE.
What’s the difference?
If you choose to label your efforts as culminating in FAILURE, then you’re telling yourself that you accept this unsuccessful outcome as final. And so in effect, you have admitted defeat and have chosen to cease your efforts – chosen to quit.
On the other hand, if you choose to label your present outcome as a SETBACK, then it indicates that you are still committed to getting the positive outcome you expected. Being determined to make the effort, you’ll analyze your present outcome, do what is necessary to reformulate your perspective, strategy, action plans, and carry on until you achieve the outcome you want.
My point: think of FAILURE simply as a label we often choose to rationalize our having given up. Ultimately then, FAILURE is really just an emotional perspective rather than an objective reality, regardless of how widely we may at times miss the mark.
Think on this next time your efforts deliver an outcome that falls short of your intentions.
Oh yeah, and never quit.
As we all get older, the various pressures we are subjected to as members of society, as well as those arising within our own minds, steadily accumulate and increase.
And perhaps the most unfortunate side-effect of this phenomenon is the growing number of good people that succumb to those pressures. Because the upshot is that they inevitably trade their fortitude for endurance, and in doing so sacrifice their individuality.
Power: The ability to do something; you can either have it or not.
- Power is relative to Others; the nature of power is akin to that of confidence – they are both dependent upon & relative to context.
- Power can deliver external advantages.
- To enhance your Power, cultivate your decisiveness.
Strength: The capacity to do something; you can either have a little or a lot.
- Strength is relative to You; the nature of strength is that it is not defined by or relative to context.
- Strength can deliver internal advantages.
- To enhance your Strength, cultivate your composure.
The Bottom Line:
You need power to achieve freedom, but you need strength to be able to enjoy it.
FACT: You don’t deserve better unless you demand better.
So if you really want “better”, a good place to start is developing your character such that you never invite destructive people to run roughshod over you.
This is one of the personal responsibilities of an individual.
Give it some thought.
All watch aficionados are familiar with this piece of advice for anyone looking to buy a watch: “Price, Quality, Style – pick two.”
What this amounts to is that if you want a favourably priced and high quality watch, you will likely have to compromise on style.
If you want a favourably priced and stylish watch, you will likely have to compromise on quality.
And if you insist on having both high quality & style, you must be prepared to pay the price.
I find that Life tends to run along more or less the same lines…