I once read a saying that “Disappointments in life are almost always due to expectations. When you want something, you expect to have it, and if it doesn’t become a reality, you feel disappointed.” This really makes perfect sense. But all of us over the course of our lives, at some point or another, have been let down or disappointed by someone or something.

Around this time, last year, if you remember– this…

“But, with all the excitement lately, have come a few disappointments. After 6 weeks of hockey tryouts, my son, who was grouped with the A team for tryouts, got word yesterday he didn’t make the A team. He will be playing Novice B hockey for the year. We woke up yesterday morning to the email, and I saw my husband’s face as he read it… disappointed. I on the other hand felt relieved… better he should be able to have more ice time and feel confident, than never have a chance to touch the puck playing with older and better kids. I felt it was a blessing. And, there’s always next year…

But the hardest thing was telling our precious son, who like his mom, wears his heart on his sleeve. My husband wanted to wait, and I said, “Wait for what? Tell him now.” So we told him, and the tears. Oh the tears! And then he cried quietly to himself with his hands over his eyes. Then mommy’s tears… not because he didn’t make the team, but because who can bear the sight of their own child hurting and in pain? He was crushed. And after I had lunch with a girlfriend of mine whose husband plays in the NHL for our Montreal Canadiens and knows a thing or two about hockey, she so sweetly told me the same thing I was thinking… “He’ll be a star on the B team, get more ice time, and it will feed his ego a little. Nothing wrong with that.”

Yes, that was last year. The Novice B hockey year ended up being a bust. The team was terrible. It was loss after loss. My son devastated.

So this year, he was hungry. Hungry to make A again. He had always played A, and last year’s disappointment had left a bad taste in his mouth.

This year, after another grueling 6 weeks of hockey tryouts, again for the A team, we got the email on Sunday.

Novice A. I saw his face. He was BEAMING. He was proud. The hunger had paid off. But I truly believe had he not been knocked down last year, there would have been no hunger. No edge. You see, hunger is a gift. Underdogs are special. My readers know, if I had to pick a theme song for my life, it would be Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now the theme song from Rocky. I have felt like the underdog my entire life. Nothing ever came easy for me. I busted my ass in school to only slightly above-average marks. I worked extremely hard as a ballet dancer and then ballet teacher for eighteen years, but I was never the best in the class. I bombed my GMAT’s and didn’t get into MBA school. Nothing has come easy to me. Ever. And it has been the greatest gift, my best teacher.

So let me leave you today with one thought: when things are going your way, and you’re in the groove, in the flow, a word of advice– stay hungry. Steve Jobs said it best – Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. It’s a sure recipe for success.

I’d love your thoughts.