Disappointments don’t have to be disasters.

July 21, 2016

How do you respond when the AC goes out in your house (like mine did last night)?

spilled milk

How do you respond when you have a flat tire?

How do you respond when something gets stolen?

How do you respond when things like these happen?

It’s natural to be disappointed when things go wrong. But I think we’ve spoiled ourselves into believing that we have to be angry, frustrated, and upset. I don’t think that’s true. In fact, I know it’s not. I think there is a second option.

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights.”

I was listening to a writer tell recently of how he had just finished writing his second book. He was traveling when he completed it, and before he could return home, his laptop was stolen. He had not backed up his computer and the only copy of his book was on that stolen laptop. 80,000 words gone, just like that. Months and months of work.

Most people would have a meltdown. Anger would rise up, they’d be in a terrible mood, they’d mourn the loss of all that work and effort.

Not this guy. “Everyone’s second book is terrible,” he said with a big hearty laugh. “So I just tell people I’m starting on my third book.”

That’s awesome. Was he disappointed? Sure! But he decided to laugh about it. He decided to learn from it. He decided it didn’t have to be a big deal. He decided his disappointment didn’t have to be a disaster.

I believe that is a beautiful, Christlike way to live life. And I want to be more like that.

So the next time your AC goes out or you have a flat tire or your laptop gets stolen… laugh about it. Let it go. It’s okay to still be happy. You are not morally obligated to have a meltdown. You are not morally obligated to pout and stew and mope and complain.

Let it go. Laugh about it.

Then start writing your third book.