When we reach our 60s, most of us have experienced our share of disappointments.

Many of us feel like we haven’t found the financial security that we expected to have by this age. Others feel a sense of sadness, or even guilt, for not building stronger relationships with our friends and family.

When we experience a mismatch between our reality and our expectations, it’s all too easy to focus our thoughts on the past. In doing so, we miss the opportunity to make our lives better in the present.

This reminds me of a quote by Jodi Picoult, who said, “A mathematical formula for happiness: Reality divided by Expectations. There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.”

“A mathematical formula for happiness: Reality divided by Expectations. There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.” - Jodi Picoult

There is a lot of wisdom in this statement. We can’t change what happened to us. All we can do is change how we interpret our situation and start planning for a better future.

Not having enough money to live the kind of life that you deserve is frustrating, but, it can also motivate you to create something new and amazing. Losing your friends to time and distance is disappointing, but, it also gives you the opportunity to meet new people who share your interests.

Take a few minutes today to write down the 2 or 3 biggest disappointments in your life. Then, think of one tangible thing that you can do to start compensating for each. Every few days, review your list and decide what additional step you are going to take to build the life that you deserve. The past is untouchable, but, the future is yours to create.

Do you agree that disappointments can either paralyze us or spur us to positive action? What goals do you have for yourself this year to get the most from your life? Please join the discussion.

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