Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

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Curt Sunshine
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Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Sep 2009, 13:36

The only thing that can cause disappointment is unrealistic expectations.

Think about that seriously. Ponder it deeply and at length, if necessary. The human, gut reaction is to say, "But . . ."

All of you here know that I rarely speak in absolutes in this forum, but this is a promise:

If you individually understand this one simple principle, it can do perhaps more than anything else to bring peace and charity into your life.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by Heber13 » 28 Sep 2009, 13:55

Ray, this reminds me of a Neal A Maxwell quote that I often reflect on:
A basic cause of murmuring is that too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destinations!
-Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Murmur Not’,” Ensign, Nov 1989, 82
I don't think it is realistic that we don't have any expectations...faith and hope are built upon expectations. I guess the trick is to not make them "unrealistic" - especially with what we expect from others. True charity is doing a loving act with no expectation of reward...just doing it out of love.

I agree with these concepts. I guess the trick is managing the expectations, because we cannot live without them.

I need to more fully ponder "unrealistic expectations". What is realistic for me may not be realistic for others. For example, my son finishing high school so he can go to college is realistic. He can do it if he chooses to. But if we chooses to drop out...I will be disappointed because I know what it will do for limiting his future choices. So while finishing HS is realistic...he may choose not to follow through on that. I'm not sure that can be avoided, because of free agency.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Rix
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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by Rix » 28 Sep 2009, 14:09

Ray Degraw wrote:The only thing that can cause disappointment is unrealistic expectations.
I absolutely love this...and agree 100% I would also add, that most expectations we have may be unrealistic! I've mentioned this before, but on a very profound Vision Quest I did years ago, when I "asked" what principles I needed to learn to live the rest of my life more stress-free and peacefully, the answer I received was, 1) to have no expectations of others -- what we get is a gift; and 2) I am resposible for everything in my life -- I am never a victim.

When I live in harmony with these, I am always at peace.

Thanks for the reminder, Ray!

:)
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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silentstruggle
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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by silentstruggle » 28 Sep 2009, 15:19

Glenn Campbell: "There's been a load of comprisin' on the road to my horizon!!"

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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by swimordie » 29 Sep 2009, 23:52

Thanks for this Ray! I absolutely love it!

I'll add that that concept is also at the very core of emotional health. Staying present is another way of saying "No expectations". For those who may not understand practically what this may look like, I would add that one is aware of POSSIBILITIES but free of the expectations of a particular outcome. By being aware of possibilities, we can maintain healthy boundaries, take care of oneself, and release any and all expectations whether they are about people or situations.
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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Pres. Monson at BYU

Post by ken » 30 Oct 2009, 19:40

I remember Pres. Monson speaking at BYU when I was a student there (a multiple stake fireside in the Mariott Center), I clearly remember him boldly proclaiming to "dream big," "do not limit your dreams," and "just because you did poorly in chemistry in high school does not mean you should not major in chemical engineering here at BYU, because the lord will bless you," etc. I'm paraphrasing, but this was the tenor of the talk, and now all of these years later it seems to me very bad advice. BYU is littered with the corpses of over-zealous LDS who later collapse from disillusionment and broken dreams and are never the same afterwards, people like Stan Ferguson (the subject of the very interesting biography "Quest For the Gold Plates") who went into the wildernesses of Mexico, Central and South America (with the the blessing of church authorities) in the 40's, 50's and 60's with absolute, 100% certainty that he was going to prove scientifically the BOM was true...and ended up years later, in his golden years, disillusioned from the church and more or less agnostic. Better to start modestly, with modest dreams, building one step at a time, best not to get "too big for our britches".

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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by bridget_night » 31 Oct 2009, 01:46

Ok, what are 'unrealistic' expections to have from our leaders and the church then? When I got married I had some realistic and maybe some 'unrealistic' expectations from my spouse. I expected him to be faithful to me, provide financially for me and our children, etc. The doctrine and covenants outlines expectations from bishops etc. Church leaders were excommunicated at times in church history when they did not meet certain expectations When we are baptized or get TR's we are expected to be honest in our answers. So, what are the 'unrealistic' expectations?

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bridget_night
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Re: Pres. Monson at BYU

Post by bridget_night » 31 Oct 2009, 01:54

ken wrote: I'm paraphrasing, but this was the tenor of the talk, and now all of these years later it seems to me very bad advice. BYU is littered with the corpses of over-zealous LDS who later collapse from disillusionment and broken dreams and are never the same afterwards, people like Stan Ferguson (the subject of the very interesting biography "Quest For the Gold Plates") who went into the wildernesses of Mexico, Central and South America (with the the blessing of church authorities) in the 40's, 50's and 60's with absolute, 100% certainty that he was going to prove scientifically the BOM was true...and ended up years later, in his golden years, disillusioned from the church and more or less agnostic. Better to start modestly, with modest dreams, building one step at a time, best not to get "too big for our britches".
I hear what you are saying Ken. I have seen those kind of disillusionments in our gay returned missionaries who were promised by their leaders that if they prayed, fasted, temple, even married the opposite sex, they would overcome their same-sex attractions. These men believed this and worked their hearts out but were given 'unrealistic' expectations. So, what can we expect from our leaders?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Oct 2009, 05:01

what can we expect from our leaders?
That they try their hardest.

I believe that, generally, those who are called as leaders are inspired more often than not, but I believe that's because they are sincere and try to seek inspiration. At the root, however, all I expect is their best effort - since that's all I can promise when I'm on the receiving end of the expectations.

After all, our leaders are us.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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MisterCurie
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Re: Understanding Disappointment: The SHORT Answer

Post by MisterCurie » 31 Oct 2009, 07:50

bridget_night wrote:Ok, what are 'unrealistic' expections to have from our leaders and the church then? When I got married I had some realistic and maybe some 'unrealistic' expectations from my spouse. I expected him to be faithful to me, provide financially for me and our children, etc. The doctrine and covenants outlines expectations from bishops etc. Church leaders were excommunicated at times in church history when they did not meet certain expectations When we are baptized or get TR's we are expected to be honest in our answers. So, what are the 'unrealistic' expectations?
All expectations are unrealistic. If you never have any expectations you'll never be disappointed.

It reminds me of a statement I heard about why it is better to be a pessimist than an optimist::

If you are a pessimist, you have the pleasure of being right, or otherwise pleasantly surprised.

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