Many of us are no strangers to frustration. We can’t always have what we want and the world is not always fair. But there are some of us who lead a life of frustration and dissatisfaction, that look back and all we see is what we couldn’t achieve. This is obviously neither the good life nor the happy and meaningful life we wish to achieve that Positive Psychology talks about.
What is it about the way we perceive and attribute meaning to our lives that determines a life of frustration versus a fulfilling one?
I came across at a conference on aging and learning throughout the later life, an interesting idea one of the speakers pointed out: the ideal self vs the possible self as a source of frustration in later life. As an example, the speaker talked about the plans we all make for our retirement: that we are going to start a new project, do things we’ve never done before, travel places and we postpone everything until we get to the stage when we’re finally retired and do nothing. And all those plans just seem washed away and life pointless or a waste of time. Why didn’t I do things sooner, why didn’t I take that chance?
That idea keep me wondering. Why are we sometimes so frustrated with our lives? Why can’t we feel happy with what we have or make the necessary changes to achieve a possible goal? And maybe, it’s this idea of an ideal self that is keeping us away from achieving a possible one.