I sometimes become philosophical about stuff. Today seems to be one of those days.
Today I am trying to decipher the code behind unhappiness.
Let me try to list out possible things that “might” make me happy.
A sleek black Maserati will be the ultimate happiness tool, or maybe a penthouse in Stanley, definitely someone special in life, perhaps a leaner me, or at least a job at McKinsey or Google.
Well, I have many many more things which might make me happy. The list never ends.
However, there is only one thing which makes me “or to generalize - all of us” unhappy. That is when our expectations are not met. The pain caused by failed expectations can be very severe.
A failed expectation can be a deferred job promotion, a break up, the way your friends & family treat you or maybe getting an application rejection from Harvard.
Basically, an expectation says that “I want something to happen and if that doesn’t happen, then you will be unhappy”.
On so many occasions I hear disgruntled voices talking about expectations not met or things not happening the way people want it to happen. Managing your expectations can be very challenging and is an art one learns through trial-error and experience.
Please don’t mistake me here. I don’t say expectations are wrong. We need to have expectations. They are the primary source of hope and aspirations. Life would be empty and meaningless without them. However, what I propose is that keep your mind flexible and adaptable to their outcome so that you can be more forthcoming and acceptable to the occurrence of any possible event.
Though I am writing on this topic, I kinda suck at managing my own expectations.
I personally try to have very little expectations. However, expectations naturally build up and when they fail they cause lot of pain and anguish.
For instance, when it comes to communication, I am very particular about both parties putting in equal effort to sustain a communication channel. In simple words, I will not be the one who will always start a conversation even if I want one. Now, this expectation does fail and when it does it tends to severe my relationships and friendships.
What I know but fail to implement is that one must liberate themselves from attaching themselves to any result caused by someone else's actions or inactions!
As humans, we all need expectations but what we also need is a realization that they can fail.
Sometimes, I ask myself a question- To be happy do we need to lower our expectations or to strive harder to improve our current situation"? What I realized is that accepting reality can be much more satisfying.
However I still don’t have an effective answer - If you have one, please comment on this blog.