I can be a tad impulsive. (Read This: How to Fight Your Desires to Find True Freedom)
The other week I decided I wanted to sell my truck and get something different. I wanted to sell the truck because it’s pushing 220k kms and I figured it would be a good time to get some money for it before its value plummets to nothing.
I put the truck up for sale and sold it later than day.
Now I have no truck.
I’ve been looking, but rather than just getting anything, I’m looking for a deal, of which there aren’t many. I put myself in a bad bargaining position in that I need a truck immediately. Every day I say to myself, today’s the day, it’s the last day I’m looking, the right one will show itself today.
…And then the day passes and, to be honest, I’m getting frustrated, even a bit down – or I was.
It took me a few days to realize what was going on and how I was responding to what was in front of me. Obviously not near the same circumstance, I thought about James Stockdale’s book, Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot.
It’s a great book filled with lessons we all need to learn. The point that came to mind is one that’s found in Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl’s masterpiece.
Both men saw how others react to unjust imprisonment and confinement. Both men found that the optimists dealt with the situation worse than anyone.
The optimists placed unrealistic and unnecessary expectations on their captivity. They’d say, okay, I’ll be out and free in 3 months or one month. They’d start counting down the days in their head. When that day came and their freedom was no closer than it was when they made that promise to themselves, they were crushed. Some died from despair. They gave up on life when their expectations weren’t met.
We’re unlikely to find ourselves in such a dire situation, but we can still learn and apply the lesson.
Don’t place unreal or unnecessary expectations on any situation in your life.
Don’t say, I’m going to be a millionaire next year, or, I’m going to get this by this date, or, I’m going to have this this and this when I’m 30 years of age. (Read This: Two Ways to Get Rich)
The process is more important than the result.
When we expect something to happen and we give that date an ultimatum, we ignore where we are. We become ignorant of the process, of the skills we have to develop, or, in my current case, the reality that I don’t have a truck and to rush to get just any truck isn’t smart.
Breathe. Accept where you are, figure out how to take advantage of it and make the most of it, but don’t set yourself up for frustration and mental defeat by setting expectations that are out of your control.
The key here is the date.
It’s the date that needs to be removed.
By all means, set the goal or expectation that you’re going to be a millionaire or find a great lady or a great truck, but have the patience and persistence required to actually make it the best outcome you can create.