How Do You Handle Disappointment?

I’ve tried many things in my life and most of them have either failed or I have quit before they have had a chance to become a success. I’m sitting here asking myself why this is. I can understand something failing after really giving it a good effort. But quitting something before knowing if it will work, why do I do that? Why don’t I stick with things for the long haul? Is it that I don’t like to be tied to one thing? Am I lazy? Am I afraid of failure or success?

I wrote about Continuous Failure a while ago and dug up that article to see what I added to my list of failures. I counted 18 total failures so far – and that is those that I simply count as such. I’m sure there are more.

I’d be silly not to look at my successes in retrospect. I have a great job, family, and comfortable life. But dog gonnit, I really feel like I can do more and not seeing it happen is hard for me to swallow. I want to be involved in large movements that create positive change for the world. But I realize that statement is so vague and naive. The world is made up of groups of people (Seth Godin would call them Tribes) that have different hobbies and interests. There’s a wide range of political and philosophical views. I’m not sure at this stage that the world is ready for a single philosophy of life.

For me personally, how I will handle all my disappointment is to tone down the expectations a notch and focus on what I can affect and control. And that is the small projects using the skills I already have and am currently building up. So that is what I will do – work on the projects I know I can do and make them the best that they can be. Build the wall one brick at a time and make sure each brick is the best darn brick I can lay with the talents and abilities I have.

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