Want your fears to shrink? Your apprehension to shrivel? Your peace of mind to shine? Want to avoid EVER being disappointed or shocked again? There is a simple, yet highly effective manner of thinking and understanding that will set you free of the constant threat – that Sword of Damocles of “What If?” The fear of failure can be overcome.

At the age of 63, having worked with thousands of business owners for 29 years and having been involved with many people on a personal basis, including, naturally, family, friends, and people whom I thought were friends, and having lived through some pretty devastating disappointments and shocks myself, I have finally – finally learnt to understand life differently. That doesn’t mean I have become cynical, a bitter pessimist, or anything like that; in fact, I’m happier and more at peace than ever before in my life, now that I have grown up.

Here’s what works for me:

I understand that nothing lasts forever. We may sincerely want it to, believe it will, hope it will, and pray that it will, but the fact is that nothing – apart from your eternal soul – lasts forever. No business, no opportunity, no deal, no situation in this temporal world. So, enjoy it while it is working, make the best of it, and don’t expect it to last forever: plan accordingly. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In business, I always tell people, “Never invest more than you can afford to or are prepared to lose, and remember, there are no guarantees. And nothing lasts forever.”

Secondly, the only thing that doesn’t change is change. Change is, in other words, the only constant. Our understanding and our priorities and our values and choices change. People change. Age changes us. There are many forces at work on our daily, cumulative choices. Things happen. They may be good people up to a point and then they decide not to be good: be it sin or stupidity, people change.  I have seen this over and over: bad people decide to become good and they stay good for a while and then they go bad again. Good people go bad and then get good and then may go bad again.

Choices, opportunities, temptations, persuasion by others, manipulation by other people, advertising, social pressure – these things all affect our choices. There are consequences to choices. So trust people, love them, enjoy them, avoid others, whatever you like, as long as you don’t believe that people never change or won’t, or can’t change. Fast.  Overnight. Unexpectedly. Or slowly, almost imperceptibly at first. Enjoy your relationships while they last. Don’t be shocked or surprised when they change, because, guess what? You will change, too – hopefully for the better.

And thirdly, it is imperative that we have an eternal perspective if we would like to maintain hope and love and forgiveness and to avoid resentment, guilt, bitterness, jealousy, and unnecessary pain. When we live God-centered lives and are blessed to have found a doctrine / religion – spiritual walk that works for us and makes sense to us, we find that as we become better people, we attract better people, we get hurt less, and we don’t put too much stock in temporal things.

Want an example of how temporary life is? Just talk with any coroner or ambulance driver. Walk into any swap shop, Value Village, Thrift Store – see all the things that were once highly treasured and loved and are now collecting dust on the shelves, being sold for a song. Things that someone was once so proud of, worked so hard and sacrificed so much to obtain. Then they died, and their kids or someone else gave their precious possessions to a Thrift Shop at best, or, at worst, just threw them in the garbage.

We’ll always be surprised, hurt, and disappointed – that’s being human. But the above “recipe” works very well for me, and it may for you, too. I hope it does. You can limit your disappointment is you manage your expectations.

Robin Elliott   LeverageAdvantage.com