How to Handle Disappointment

How do you handle setbacks?

How do you handle disappointments?

How do you handle being stuck?

Let me answer with a story…

As you probably know by now, I own Francine, a rare 2005 Panoz Esperante GTLM exotic sports car, as well as rock star Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith)’s even rarer 1998 Panoz AIV Roadster. 

Obviously, I’m a fan of Panoz cars.

I’ve been to the Panoz factory, met part of the family, attended their racing school, and love everything by and about Panoz.

So you can imagine how excited I got when I heard that someone took a Panoz Esperante and turned it into a flying car.

Yes, a flying car.


When I checked, I found the story to be true. It was not only transformed into a car that could fly by Jesse James and his nine-man team, but it actually flew – and was broadcast on television.

The 2004 Panoz Esperante took flight on an episode of Monster Garage, making it off the ground for 280 feet before touching down safely.

I wanted that car.

Yes, I wanted that car. 

But when I checked, I learned the person who owned the flying car didn’t want to sell it. He just kept it in storage.

I thought that was pretty sad, but I let it go and forgot about it.

Until a few days ago, that is.

That’s when I learned that the Panoz flying car sold at auction for only $45,000.

Not only was that a ridiculously low amount of money — as the car alone is worth $105,000 and as a flying car it’s worth three times that (at least) — but the auction happened last January.

Six months ago!

I am rarely upset by things these days, but I have to confess learning the flying car sold for only $45,000 and six months ago almost caused me to blow a gasket.

How could I have missed the auction?

Why didn’t anyone tell me?

Talk about disappointment.

I contacted the Panoz folks and shared my frustration. They told me they tried to buy the car at that auction by somehow couldn’t get their bid high enough in time. They lost the car.

This seemed bizarre.

I’m obviously a collector of rare Panoz cars. The flying car would be a gem for me to own. It would be pure P.T. Barnum, who of course I wrote a book about.

But somehow I was out of tune, or not clear, or something.

Not only did I not get a chance to bid on the car, but the auction happened half a year ago.

What the – ?

But things got even more interesting and even more disappointing.

When I tired to find out the name of the person who actually won the car, so I could ask him if he’d sell it to me at a higher price, I hit dead ends.

I couldn’t find him, and the auction house wouldn’t give me his name for privacy reasons.

All of this caused me to be upset for three days.

Three days.

I’m not proud of it. But I’m trying to share a story here, as well as vent a little. This was an experience of deep disappointment to me. I took it personally, and judged myself harshly.

I felt stuck, unhappy, and un-clear.

So, what did I do?

As it turned out, I had to go back into the recording studio to record a few more segments to my forthcoming new audio program, The Awakening Course.

This is the most advanced material I’ve ever created. It covers the four stages of awakening and leads you through the first three stages, so you can experience them live. The fourth stage comes by grace, but can be described. I do it in the program.

As I recorded my new material about trust and letting go, I realized that I had been very attached to wanting that flying car.

VERY attached.

Yet a key secret to attracting whatever you want is to let go of attachment. Want it without needing it. As my friend Bootzie often says, “I’m perfectly satisfied, I just want more!”

“I’m perfectly satisfied, I just want more!” – Bootzie

That’s the spirit of detachment that attracts results.

I wasn’t detached.

And I wasn’t trusting.

My ego felt things should be different from reality.

My ego felt the car was right for me.

My ego was upset when the car flew away from me.

But the Universe (Divine, God, Gaea, Collective Unconscious, etc) sees the bigger picture. It knows more than your ego. You have to trust IT.

There may be several reasons for me not attracting that car, including –

* Where do you park a car with wings?

* Where do you fly a flying car?

* How do you fly a flying car?

And there’s the very real possibility that the person who won the flying car has better reasons for owning it than me.

In short, the way I handled this disappointment was by letting go, trusting, and moving on.

It’s very possible the flying car will appear in my life at some later point, but I no longer need it to appear.

I’m happy with or without it.

That’s where you want to be with everything in your life: at peace.

And that’s the secret to attracting what you want and surviving setbacks, disappointments and stuck issues:

You trust it’s all working out for your highest good, you do whatever is next for you to do in the moment, and you do it all from a place of serenity.

You move on – smiling, trusting, letting go.

You soar through life — with no need for a flying car.

Ao Akua,


PS – You can see pictures of the Panoz flying car (complete with bullet holes) at Enjoy.


  1. July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    😛 Love it! Thank you Joe! 😛

  2. Carl-Reply
    July 18, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Joe, if you got that and tried to drive…err…fly it, you’d be crossing that line from P.T. Barnum over to Evil Knievel…(Outrageous Marketing to Daredevil marketing???) but wow, the publicity stunt possibilities you could pull off with a car like that!

    I’m pretty sure that one day you will have a museum or some kind of crazy thing to go along with your Wonder Show and it will find it’s way back to you.

    What’s that old saying? If you love something let it go…(you know the rest)…


    Anyways, I just heard you let out a tidbit about awakening in a recent podcast…

    You said something to the effect that “getting stuck is part of an awakening”.

    Do you delve into that more in depth in your Awakening Course?

    Blessings and light,

  3. July 18, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I think Francine is already able to fly dear Joe… Also make You feel like flying too – in a much safer and reliable way of course :mrgreen:

    ps: I finally bought Zero Limits – Your books are publishing with a serious delay in my country 😯

  4. July 18, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Joe, This is exactly the story I needed to shift my perspective about where I’m at in life right now. Thank you so much for sharing it and all the wisdom on how to align with spirit. It’s funny how this all works. I’ve heard it all before and yet I still get stuck being disappointed when something doesn’t happen fast enough for me. It’s great to be reminded of things I already know and to get that little push to believe in spirit even more than I already do.:mrgreen:

  5. July 19, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Everything works perfectly in the universe even when our ego protests, and your story of not getting that car with the wings perfectly illustrates this; it was for your own learning and sharing with the rest of us. I enjoyed reading this story; you are genuine, and I love this about you because we the readers can relate to you. 😀


  6. Zion-Reply
    July 19, 2008 at 7:49 am

    V*E*R*Y timely Joe…just what I need at just the precise time I needed to hear it. Thank you!

    ~Loves n’ more Loves~


  7. Allen Mireles-Reply
    July 19, 2008 at 9:57 am


    This particular post was very timely for me. I will now let go of a work issue that was disappointing and frustrating.

    Thank you.



  8. MrBrown-Reply
    July 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    So on one hand you’re supposed to FIGHT for what you want, on the other you have to let it go. At which point do you do which?

  9. July 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Mr Brown, who said you are supposed to fight?

    Re-read my blog post and you’ll see there is a fine balance between action and detachment.

    But I never said FIGHT.



  10. July 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    I came across this blog the other day and you got some great info here – thanks.

  11. July 20, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I believe that’s the problem I’m having Joe with what you said as far as being attached to something. This is where I want to be on August 15th-August 17th this year I’m attached to the outcome and I was pissed off that my boss, wouldn’t let me have off on the 17th of August. I’m attached to the outcome and I feel that I’m going to be missing out if I don’t go. In my mind, I say I need to go to this conference and that may be the problem. Joe you say that trust is a key factor. Alot of people will agree with you and trust that they will get what they want as long as it comes fast enough. If it’s not quick, then the trust is out the window.
    It costs $287 for a plane ticket from Cincinnati, OH to Washington, DC and $240.00 for a plane ticket. I don’t even have the money yet. I’m trying to attract enough Clickbank commissions so I can go but I only have $21.24. My website is

    Joe I do have a copy of Zero Limits and this is what I wrote on a piece of paper:

    Divinity, I am sorry for the erroneous thoughts within me that have caused the problem for me not attracting the money to go to Washington, DC. Please forgive me.

    Also on Clickbank, I’ve bought your Whiteboard recording where you blend the Attractor Factor with Zero Limits and I’ve wrote letters to God. What can I do?

  12. July 20, 2008 at 8:12 am

    One more thing Joe. I’m made a mistake when I’ve mentioned in my comment that it costs $240.00 for a plane ticket. I meant a hotel room.

  13. July 20, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Hi Paul.

    Yes, you are attached to the outcome, but you’re only attached because you are convinced this event is something that will change your life. It may not be.

    As I said in my blog post, your ego sees a small portion of your future and your potenial, while the Universe sees the bigger picture and what’s better for you.

    Not going may be the best thing in the world for you.

    I’m not at all suggesting you give up the desire, or the action, just the struggle and frustration.

    That’s the secret and the key.


  14. HWP-Reply
    July 20, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Man, I needed that! Thanks, Joe!

  15. July 20, 2008 at 8:44 am

    GREAT story Joe!

    I have experienced this very thing so many times in my life. And now, after a bit more than a year and a half of study and ‘fellowship’ with you, I can see how my attachments are what created the angst.

    God bless you my friend. You are a terrific example for us all.

    Thank you for being you.


    Steve Little (launches 7/28/08)

  16. July 20, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I read a technique called ‘The pink baloon technique’ in Shakti Gaiwan’s book. You imagine a big pink baloon about twice the size of a football and drop your intention inside it and let it fly in the universe and be assured that Universe will take care of the rest. Its like sending an email after you hit the ‘send’ button you don’t worry about how its going to go through hundreds of computers and reach its destination.

  17. Elipicayo-Reply
    July 20, 2008 at 9:14 am

    I think that most people should read the book “Seth Speaks”. In it Seth explains everything very clearly about our connection with other dimensions and the spirit world. It’s not an easy book to read. The first time someone gave it to me I read the first pages and left it in my night table for 5 years before I started reading it again. Sort of not “being ready for the message” kind of thing.

    I urge everyone to read it and then make their own conclusions about what’s explained in the book.

    Good Luck!

  18. spiro-Reply
    July 20, 2008 at 9:36 am

    letting go, hmm…. what a simple thing to do in theory, yet so egotistically difficult to do iin reality, until i found that i am so happy now with what i have, that letting go is so easy to do, and “stuff” passes by and comes into my life and yet i am still that happy go lucky person,

    one things for sure i don’t want the flying car, but i’d love to take a spin in itl

  19. July 20, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I saw the flying car that was featured in Popular Science back in the late sixties at the Museum of Flight in Seattle recently. I must admit that Panoz is sexier. Now I’ll have to wait until I see that one. Maybe it’ll turn up in Seattle unless you get your hands on it first.:mrgreen:

  20. July 20, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Joe, this post landed perfectly at the right time. I am disapointed that I just lost a free copywriting coaching program but now know (thanks to you) that the universe is much bigger than any one event.

    Thanks for allowing us to speak freely–vent our disapointments here in this blog. I believe just writing out and working through our disapointments helps us get clear, release the attachment and move on.

    Thanks also for sharing what the universe has taught you!


    Emette Massey

  21. July 20, 2008 at 11:56 am


    It’s time for me to clean, clean, clean on the beliefs of struggle and frustration. One day Joe, I would like to see you and Robert Kiyosaki write a book together. I think it would be a #1 best seller before it comes out.

  22. Sandra (UK)-Reply
    July 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    😛 Thanks Joe !!! Great timing on this … I have been struggling with disappointment .. and I have just had that “light bulb” moment having read the above …. THANK YOU … luv & hugs …

  23. July 20, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Thank for the Great article Joe!

    I love your style of writing.


    Saul Maraney
    Johannesburg, South Africa

  24. MrBrown-Reply
    July 21, 2008 at 3:22 am

    To respond to you Dr V., you may not have said “fight for what you want” in your post but isn’t part of the SECRET to really focus and pretty much get obsessed with what you want?
    So that would contradict the “letting go” aspect, no?

  25. July 21, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Mr. Brown, it sounds like you haven’t read The Attractor Factor.

    No where do I or the The Secret say to “obsess” on something.

    Step Four of The Attractor Factor is to visulaize the end result of already having your goal.

    But Step Five is to let go of any atachment while taking inspired action.

    Again, you might want to read the book.



  26. July 21, 2008 at 11:36 am

    You always remind missing secrets for attracting anything. 😛
    Thank you for sharing.

  27. July 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Dr. Vitale…With your passion for fine performance automobiles, I wouldn’t be surprised if you one day had your own automobile company. Keep it coming! These blogs shed so much light on so many of life’s everyday scenarios-BIG, small and otherwise. Love it & Thank you!:mrgreen:

    July 21, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I want to thank you for sharing your story,I get so frustrated at work sometimes,I put in a lot of hours and somes days I wonder why,but I know if I just let go everything will be just fine. thank you

  29. July 21, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Dude. If you want a flying car, why not just hire Jesse James to make you another one?

    And if you can’t get his team, I bet there are a ton of great mechanics out there who would love a chance to build you a flying car, especially if you made it a mini-series.

    What the hell is money for if it can’t get you a flying car?


  30. July 21, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    OMG! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I really need to hear that even an expert of “The Universe” and ‘How To Work With It” still gets dissapointed and upset! No matter how much you know, thier will always be tests to try to throw you off balance! Thanks so much Joe! You are definately an inspiration!
    May you get all the “more” you want
    Brenda Best!

  31. July 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thanks for the wake up call!

  32. Alice-Reply
    July 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    man, you really made me laugh!
    funny story.

    but you’re right,
    “could you let go of wanting the flying car?” 🙂

    no attachments
    no aversions

  33. July 22, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Joe. And thanks for showing your humanity in admitting you were stuck with the feeling for a while until you got to clarity about it.

    Disappointment is something I’ve been terribly struggling with in the past couple of years, this helped a lot. Thanks again.

  34. July 22, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Joe,

    Love ur Story, it is always so inspiring, as usual….

    Just want to make one thing clear, If we were so passioanate to want something, it is not same with “need” it ? If we needed something so bad, it will stop us for attracting things we want ?

  35. July 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Hi Aprin. You can be passionate without need. Passion is love in the moment for what you are doing. That’s a beautiful place to be.

  36. July 23, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Joe, thanks so much for sharing this….the universe is working now…I was feeling that same type of disappointment and was inspired to check out your blog…! Your story really helped me to see why I have that feeling and to start to realign myself to focus on the end goal, stop thinking about what is not here now and to enjoy the moment with what I have now! Thanks!

  37. July 26, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Hi Joe,

    🙂 got your point now …

    It means now I will use term ” I’m so passionate to get husband / soulmate” instead of “I need husband” because even being single I’m already so happy but I wanna be happier by getting my partner of life 😀 Am I correct ?

  38. Faith-Reply
    July 27, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Hi Joe,

    You know it’s funny. I am really down this morning and I always know that somehow God will send me a reminder to stop having these negative thoughts. I honestly haven’t been to your blog for a while, for some reason I did today and the first thing I saw is this post. Since I am in the same situation, relatively speaking, it did boost me up. However I can’t get clear or let go in my particular issue.

    Anyways, Thank you and I love you.


  39. mark treft-Reply
    July 29, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Dear Joe

    Read today about how you were homeless.

    I too was homeless and lived in my car for 6 weeks.

    Spent a lot of time at the library and nights at the rest area or the truck stop which was near my town.

    Problem was my old car idled way too fast and was very loud.

    It was the dead of winter.

    I was so embarassed someone would think bad about me that I would let the car run for about 10 minutes then shut it off and try to fall asleep. I would move my car to a new spot about every 2 hours so I wouldn’t be so obvious.

    I managed to land a job in sales and when I got my first paycheck I found a motel that was only 198.00 per week to stay in. Needless to say most of my checks at first went to the motel bill.

    After work everyone else was talking about what they were doing and I was trying to sneak away and not let anyone know I was in a motel, especially one that was known for prostitution and…it was the cheapest.

    I had given my old apartment address (that I had been evicted from) as my home of residence…still don’t understand how I managed that.

    I have become one of the most successful salesman at my company. (2nd out of 20).

    Sometimes life’s problems create some of the best motivations to succeed.

    Through all my struggles it’s funny how nobody ever suspected how down and out I really was.

    The biggest secret to success is a true desire to make it…against all odds…a satisfaction that only you can relate to.

    All this to say…congrats for your success.

    You’ve experienced the secret!

    I’ve knocked you a couple times but only thought you were like all the other internet marketers.


    http://[email protected]

  40. mark treft-Reply
    July 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Sorry bout that I offered my e-mail and put the www.

    [email protected]

  41. Fez-Reply
    July 30, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Hi Joe,
    You are trully inspirational! Thank you for being part of us.
    Keep up the good work, may God give you more power to help us get out of our holes.
    I love you~

  42. Tracey Nadeau-Reply
    August 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Joe!
    I just had to thank you for this funny and mindful story. It has been sitting in my inbox for a couple of weeks while I tended some other business…as I worked my way through things I wasn’t interested in to find what I wanted to read, I found it…at EXACTLY the right moment as it were. I have been wondering why something has been taking so very long to manifest…and BOOM….there’s your flying car and you reminding me that being attached to the outcome blocks the process… Seems I always get the right message from you at the right moment!! THANKS! I’m letting go….I bet that car and what I was hoping to manifest show up after all!

  43. August 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Joe, I loved hearing this story because it reminds the rest of us that you don’t get what you want all the time either! I’ve been going through such tough times, but finally decided to break open and be content with all my setbacks whatever they be and know that’s its the Universe working itself out. I’m of course still trying to manifest my goals.
    I hope it’s not confusing the Universe with what I want by letting go.
    My best to you.

  44. August 20, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Joe – you want a REAL flying car – go to
    (No, I have no association with it but I will be buying one.)
    Thanks, Tom

    PS. Please check – I would love to hear feedback from you.

  45. August 26, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Well, if you ever decide again that you want a flying car, check this out:

    Vertical takeoff! Nice, eh? 🙂

  46. cor-Reply
    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 am

    thank you joe 🙂

  47. Sabirna-Reply
    April 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I really needed this!!! Thanks alot and please keep sharing!

  48. RJ-Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I’m thankful for you for posting this Dr. Joe, during a time when was looking for the answer. Thankful for Google too for pointing me here! 🙂

  49. March 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Im obliged for the post.Really thanks! Great.

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