Want to be successful and fulfilled? This is the mindset you need to have

Short post, but it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

When I was younger, I used to get upset about anything that didn’t go the way I had planned. I would create this big expectation in my mind: what the outcome was going to look like, who was going to be proud of me, who I could count on in the process. And then the moment would come, it would be nothing how I had imagined.

Most people that live in a constant state of disappointment do this (to themselves).

Someone off-handedly at work says they’ve been doing a good job and deserve a promotion. The person then throws an outcome into the air: “I want to be making $100,000 by the end of this year.” They wait. Nothing happens. And then they live in frustration because things “didn’t go as planned” — meanwhile assuming someone else was going to make the change for them.

This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of frustration.

So instead, be compassionate toward yourself.

  • Let yourself imagine the outcome, but don’t get attached to it. If you get there, great. If you don’t, figure out what needs to be done next to readjust toward that outcome.
  • Let yourself collaborate with other people — but don’t put your fate in someone else’s hands. This only leads to impossible expectations.
  • Let yourself see mistakes as lessons. There is no reason to get down on yourself for learning something the hard way.

When you approach life and its journey with compassion toward yourself, you are never disappointed.

And in not being disappointed, you can continue working on the things that matter most to you — which ultimately progresses you the farthest.

This article originally appeared in Medium.