Life Is Full of Disappointments

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Things almost never work out as planned.

Logically, we know this. We understand this. We accept this.

And yet we’re still surprised, and sometimes even wrecked, when it happens.

There are countless thinkpieces and self-help books and TED Talks about this. It’s the backbone of every single motivational speaker’s career.

It’s often referred to as failure, but the term “failure” is a melodramatic way of describing these things. Very few times are these things failures.

Not getting promoted. Getting turned down for a date. Your demo tape getting overlooked. The best thing you’ve ever written being ignored.

These are not failures, they’re disappointments. Speed bumps. Potholes. Detours.

And a contented life is often the result of managing these disappointments.

We compare ourselves to our peers. We’re constantly inundated with what we don’t have or what we aren’t doing. We see the yachts owned by Silicon Valley whiz kids and mansions inhabited by movie stars and we question our lives and our choices.

But things almost never work out as planned.

It takes years to be an overnight success.

Most job applications don’t result in an interview. Most interviews don’t result in a job. Most jobs don’t result in a promotion. That’s just reality.

The same is true of dating and writing and even how we handle our personal finances. We all experience disappointment, from A-list stars with a harem of models at his disposal to the guys riding in a delivery truck, so the quality of your life often comes down to how you manage and navigate through these disappointments. It’s natural to feel sad for a time, but you can’t let them bury you. Speed bumps slow you down, but they shouldn’t stop you completely.

No one experiences a life without disappointment. From a first date to a second marriage to a third career, there are potholes along the way.

Things almost never work out as planned.

But sometimes that detour takes you on a more scenic route and exposes you to an entire slice of the world you never knew existed.


Christopher Pierznik’s eight books are available in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Medium, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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