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5 Ways To Lead A Happier Life

“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.” Jodi Picoult

In my younger years, I was adamant that I had no expectations about my life. I gave off an ‘I don’t care’ vibe, and managed to pull it off quite well – to an extent.

In reality, I had very little control of my expectations and displayed an unrealistic view of how life should be. This was especially reflected in my relationships with others, and in particular my romantic relationships.

A few years ago, my boyfriend at the time was returning from a business trip and I was excited to see him after a week apart. Throughout the day at work, I was in a fantastic mood, cheerfully buoyant and ready for our reunion later that evening.

However, when he actually arrived home, he was tired after a long drive and seemed preoccupied with work, complaining about his manager and stomping around the house.

In the end, deprived of the reunion I had envisioned, I flounced off to bed early and left him to brood alone.

The next morning, I realised quickly that my reaction had been unfair. When my high expectations of our reunion had not been met, I had taken it personally and become angry and frustrated. I hadn’t taken into account the possibility of my boyfriend being tired and withdrawn, which was kind of selfish.

This is the most normal example I can bring to mind of my ridiculously high or stupidly low expectations causing unnecessary hurt and misery to both myself and those involved.

Our expectations create a view of how we think things should be, but very often people fail to live up to them. We cannot control how others feel, think and act, and by continuing to attempt to, we are setting ourselves up for a whole world of disappointment and unhappiness.

Losing all expectations brings us into any situation with an open mind, and clears the way for a happier communion with the people in our lives. But freeing ourselves of expectations is easier said than done.

Here are a few tips on how to lead a happier life expectation-free.

  1. Start with a clean slate. Go forward with an open mind. Forget about anything that has happened in the past, or that you think should happen in the future. Concentrate on the present and put one foot in front of the other. Stay in the moment and accept it for what it is.
  2. Concentrate on yourself. It may sound self-centred, but by concentrating on yourself and your own happiness, you won’t have quite so much time to wonder about other people’s actions. Plus, the only thing you really have control over is YOU.
  3. Embrace your life. Learn to appreciate the things you do have in your life rather than hankering after the things you don’t. Life is pretty amazing when you begin to live it day-by-day instead of constantly expecting things to go exactly the way you want them to. Okay, so your life may not be perfect, but nothing is.
  4. Be realistic. When you find yourself starting to expect something from a situation, stop! Take a step back and have a hard look at whether or not your belief or expectation matches reality. Is it really likely to pan out the way you think it will? Or are you being unrealistic? Sometimes, giving yourself the time to think it through rationally is all the help you will need.
  5. Believe in yourself. Honestly, it’s as simple as that. Believe in somebody. Believe in yourself. And eventually you will find that you aren’t even thinking about your expectations. You are just living your life, happily.
Health & Wellness Website, Life Coaching

Losing Your Expectations: The Secret To A Happier Life

We all have expectations in our lives, whether we are aware of them or not. We know where we want to be in life, who we want to be with, how we should be treated, even what our next meal should taste like. And these are all expectations.

An expectation is a preconceived notion of how things should be. We expect that things will be just as we have imagined them to be, but very often, people and situations fail to live up to our expectations. And that’s where the problems arise.

We have all been let down in the past by someone or something that has not turned out to be as good or as perfect as we imagined them to be. How did that make us feel?

Upset. Disappointed. Disillusioned. Unhappy.

By expecting things to happen in the way we want or imagine them to, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Having expectations about how our desires should manifest will only create negative feelings when these expectations are not met.

“So I should lower my expectations instead?”

Absolutely not!

Having high expectations will understandably invite disappointment as people or circumstances consistently fail to live up to them.

Having low expectations, however, will create a very negative way of thinking, and this in turn stunts our happiness.

By expecting everything to go badly or not happen at all, we are narrowing our outlook on life and making everything seem like it, well, sucks.

Yes, there will be occasions where your low expectations are surpassed, and for a while this will give you happiness. But when so many things meet your low expectations, it will just reinforce your conclusion that life is basically sh*t. And eventually, this will cause unhappiness.

“So, I shouldn’t have high expectations and I shouldn’t have low expectations – what should I have?”


Yes, that’s right. NO expectations. Let them go. Let the universe shape your life for you.

You can’t control the way people act, think or feel, and you can’t guarantee the outcome of a situation just because you have expected it to be so. Basing your happiness on outside influences will eventually lead you to anger and misery, as well as frustration at a life that isn’t going as you planned.

Go with the flow. Experience life a moment at a time. Enter into situations with an open mind, and let whatever happens unfold. Remain confident and positive and ready to accept life as it is rather than how you expect it to be. You will be amazed at how much happier you feel.