I was looking through old emails the other day and was reminded of how a huge disappointment turned out to be the best thing for me. I got to thinking how pointless it is to spend energy on disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong, disappointment is a natural and common emotion that will of course be felt. However, how long we decide to wallow in it and let it put a downer on our lives is our choice.
About three years ago, I decided I was going to finish the doctorate I started 11 years prior. I applied for a great programme, the only one I would complete because it would give me everything I wanted. I went to the interview and still remember walking out of the interview beating myself up because I didn’t prepare enough for the statistics question.
Sure enough, a week later I discovered that question was what lost me my place. I was two points short of getting a place. I remember feeling so disappointed and so disheartened by life. I felt stuck and trapped in a job I hated and saw no door to leave. I was so busy feeling angry at myself and feeling as though life treated me unfairly that I didn’t take time to stop and put things in perspective. The truth was, I was working towards something I didn’t actually want.
What I did know was that I needed to take a break from work life, so I began my plans to travel. When I was on the road, having the burden of the rat race taken off my shoulders was immense and allowed me to see life in a different way. I no longer went to bed feeling exhausted knowing I would wake up to hate another day and feel exhausted the whole day. I had a new passion for life. Every day was different and it was just me to worry about. I could do whatever I wanted. It was heaven!!
After I found my peace in Guatemala, I remember the end of my trip coming nearer and dreading the thought of going back to London and doing something different, but still being in the rat race. You see, I was going to quit my job and just wing it. I kept reminding myself to be patient because life is full of opportunities and look at my life so far, I wouldn’t choose any other!! I’m very happy with it! Although I often walked around foreign countries feeling lost, I knew it would all be ok.
Then I stepped on the boat and my life changed. I’ve already described how sailing makes me feel so it was inevitable I was going to do something with that. Then one question, simply one question changed my path onto brighter flowers; “Can I stay?” A question I almost didn’t ask because I didn’t want to look stupid. How glad am I that I asked!
Recently I was invited to sail from Honduras to St Marteen. It was exactly what I wanted! No charters, long stretches of sailing and time with a great sailing friend. Sadly that never came to light and I controlled my disappointment. My heart dropped when I discovered I wasn’t going. I moped for the rest of the day. Then I told myself, “It’s ok. Something better is around the corner. Just enjoy today and be grateful someone enjoys your company enough to invite you on their boat.” And so I did. Now the better opportunity has arisen. I will write about it in my next blog.
Three years after a disappointment that led to a major life change, I am sat on a boat in the Caribbean living a peaceful life that brings me so much joy. I spent the last two weeks spending hours daily snorkelling and enjoying the fresh sea air, instead of being in an office analysing people and allowing their problems to continue to weigh me down. It’s a shame I wasted months being frustrated and disappointed I didn’t get what I thought was right. Because to be honest, I didn’t want to attend that programme. I just wanted to be called Dr H and make more money. Now I have no title and no money and I am one of the happiest people on earth.
I learned my lesson and followed through. Life works how it’s meant to. I will ride the waves (quite literally!!) and know that over each crest, there is a golden opportunity waiting for me. I will no longer spend my energy on being disappointed, but spend it on manifesting what I want from life and enjoying the moment. I invite you to take the challenge and see what happens.