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You may hear, now and again, people saying ‘I’m so disappointed with you’ or ‘please do not disappoint me’ or ‘I’m sure you will not disappoint’ or ‘I was so disappointed by their performance’ or ‘I’m disappointed with myself’, etc. We submit that disappointment is the result of our expectation. Put differently, disappointment is a product of our appointing. Pre-existing in disappointment is appointment.  This means that the seed of disappointment is appointment. We cannot be disappointed if we do not first appoint or schedule or expect things to turn out in a certain way.

There are occasions where one is disappointed with himself. This happens when you appoint, or better put, when you set your own expectations or schedule and you somehow, one way or the other, fail to live up to your own expectations or appointment or schedule. Most of the time, in our generation, when things don’t go according to our appointing or expectation, there’s a tendency to look around for someone to blame. Somebody must be blamed for our misfortune or failed self-expectation. Listen to the tone of a disappointed person; “I expected you to come through for me!”

From this narrative you may realise that disappointment may be associated with goals also, that which you have appointed as your focal point, something to be accomplished, something of an ideal. When we miss the target, something is whacked off or shattered in us in the name of disappointment. Aristotle is said to have said there are many ways of missing a target, but there’s only one way of hitting it. You may appoint your target, but when you take one of the many ways of missing it, you get disappointed.


It’s like turning on a light in your house or office intending and hoping to do something under it, and all of a sudden someone secretly goes to the main switch outside and pulls it down and the lights go off. Here you have appointed and the other man disappoints your appointing. A parent may appoint by teaching his or her children certain values, and as they grow up he or she expects them to cling to these ethical or moral standards or codes, but the children, taking the influence outside the ambits of the home, may disappoint (go against the expectation) by taking drugs and flunk or drop out of school. You also see the appointment and disappoint cases in dating; a young man invites a young lady out for a date. The young man goes all out and he is at his best on the day, but the young lady doesn’t turn up for some reason.

The young man appointed, the young lady disappointed. The same goes with a businessman. He may appoint the profits he wants to make and the date of accomplishment, but nature may disappoint all that. The man may have misjudged the natural order of things. He may have appointed himself and two other men for a goal that requires 10 men to achieve. This is a disappointment of incapacity. This happens or can be amplified into the various dimensions of our lives. A lot of our disappointments are a product of our miscomputation, misconception, in short, it is a result of our ignorance – the common enemy of mankind.

Some wisely negative or mitigate the effect of disappointment by appointing with a plan B – something to fall on if someone or God or life or the laws of life disappoints. In the final analyses, it is our nature as human beings to keep on appointing, expecting irrespective of the daily disappointments. Without appointing or expecting not much would go on in our lives. Our lives revolve around the laws of life, and one of the important laws of life is the law of expectation. In the ‘Speed of Trust’, Stephen M R Covey posits: “When we expect more, we tend to get more; when we expect less, we turn to get less.” Also, big expectations tend to come with big disappointments; small expectation tend to come with small disappointments. The winners of this world expect big, the losers expect less.

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