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?”
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.