Would you like to live your life free of dashed hopes? There’s a way. And it starts by not setting yourself up to have dashed hopes in the first place.
It happens all the time, unfortunately. A worker wants a particular position in his company, and never gets selected for it. A single man outlines what he’d like a mate to look, act and be like, and never finds her. An athlete sets sights on winning a competition and fails. A student strives to get into his favorite college and is not admitted. It is good to set high goals, strive for excellence and achieve, but in a world of limited positions to fill and winner take all events, there are only so many positions to occupy by an often much larger number of people striving to fill them. Getting mired into the belief that one has to compete with others to be happy and successful can lead to some devastating dashed hopes.
But there’s a better way!
Jesus Christ taught his followers to set spiritual goals. For him, success was measured by spiritual growth and love, not by the accumulation of worldly honors, money or position. He, in fact, shunned the pursuit of worldly gain. His eye was set on heaven.
It’s incredibly liberating to set spiritual goals above the material ones.
I learned the lesson playing tennis.
I like to win, but I often lose because there are many players better than me. However, my primary goal has been to be a better player every time I play. That’s a goal I can always reach whether I have the higher score or not. If I play a solid match, stretch myself out of my comfort zone, and give it my all, I can walk off court every time a happy man. It prevents dashed hopes and it feels a lot better than wallowing in self-pity when I’m outplayed.
And we can do the same with every activity in life.
When we set a spiritual goal of doing the best we’re capable of, and then do it, we can be grateful for the opportunity and happy with our effort even if we don’t win the top worldly prize.
The top prize in life is not a trophy one puts on their shelf to collect dust or a position others envy. The top prize is peace within, feeling close to God, contentment, a perpetually bright outlook on life, knowledge that one did the best they could at the time, and the ability to love others unconditionally even when they get the position you had hoped to gain.
So avoid the heartbreak of dashed hopes by not setting yourself up for them in the first place. Set spiritual goals and strive to reach them above all others. God will provide endless opportunities for you to keep achieving.