Disappointment – Navigating a Delightful Past

Sweet memories marred by bitter realities are ice cream cones sprinkled with dead flies. 10 years ago, your team pulled you forward. Today you’re teaching fish to climb trees. Yesterday pouring into others produced enthusiasm and loyalty. But now, you’re knifed in the back.

The end is here when disappointment exceeds aspiration. Image of a sad kitten.

Lingering on past joy causes self-defeat when:

  1. You impose unrealistic expectations on people. Today’s team isn’t yesterday’s. They feel disrespected when you compare them to former teams.
  2. Entitlement deenergizes enthusiasm. Progress seemed easier yesterday. Why is it so hard today?
  3. The peak-end rule pollutes your perspective. We have a bias to judge experiences based on their peak. You say, “Last week was great.” But you reached one big goal on Tuesday. You say, “Last week sucked.” But you had one terrible confrontation that cast a shadow over everything.
  4. Overconfidence inspires you to underestimate challenges.
  5. Rigid thinking makes you slow to adapt. If it worked in the past it will work in the present. But that’s only true in a world where nothing changes.
Live up to your aspiration, not down to your disappointment. Image of a calf looking at the screen.

Disappointment: obsessed with the past:

Dwelling on the past destroys you. You’re defeated before you begin.

The end is here when disappointment exceeds aspiration.

Reflect on the way you process disappointment.

What’s true when people constantly talk about past pains?

  1. Rehashing offenses indicates lack of forgiveness, bitterness, and poor conflict resolution skills.
  2. Helplessness dominates perspective. You can’t change a negative past. Thinking of it sucks the life out of you. Or it may be justification for misery.
  3. You focus on things people have done to you instead of things you can do today. Often, people haven’t done anything to you. They just screwed up. They weren’t thinking about you at all.

How might leaders navigate disappointment?

How do you help others move through disappointment?

One more thing:

How to Live Up to Your Aspiration – Not Down to Your Disappointment