There was an article going around recently that I found very interesting but one of the things that really stuck with me was the above equation for happiness. It is so simple yet SO true.
When you put yourself in a place where your expectations exceed reality, you are disappointed which can lead to feelings that make you unhappy. Now this doesn’t mean you should have low expectations for everything. To set a personal goal for yourself is an amazing way to get out of your comfort zone and I think these types of goals or expectations are necessary to grow and succeed. But often times we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others…
Take a moment to think about the things we expect.
We expect our spouse or significant other to know exactly what we had on the agenda, even though we may not have communicated it on a level that makes sense to them.
We expect to look like the model on the magazine cover, yet choose to forget the amount of hours that went into perfecting that look, from training to hair and make-up to photo editing.
We get angry at the person who accidentally cut us off while driving… although I have a feeling most of us are guilty of the same, whether we are aware of it or not!
We can’t understand why the person behind the counter is not doing their job correctly, yet we likely have not taken the time to look into why. Is this their first day? Are they dealing with a hardship in their personal life? Did they just get yelled at by their boss?
What if, instead, we acted without expectations? Instead of something automatically being someone else’s fault, how could things be different if we took the time to look within ourselves? Or took the time to fully accept the situation… and decide how to react to it.
When your significant other didn’t do what you had hoped (i.e. show up on time, run that errand, etc.), remind yourself that you too have spent a little extra time picking out your outfit or forgotten something you were supposed to do. You can let one mistake ruin your evening or you can choose not to.
Instead of judging, comparing and hoping for a certain physique, what if you found gratitude for the beauty of your body (whatever shape that may be) and the amazingly well run machine that it is. Try to embrace rather than fear, nourish rather than obsess and find excitement rather than criticize.
Instead of getting road rage when someone makes a mistake while driving, remind yourself that it was likely that, A MISTAKE… You, too, have made mistakes.
What if instead of finding anger, rage, disappointment (all which lead to unhappiness) we found compassion for others and for ourselves? It might truly change everything.
So keep this simple equation in the back of your head and when negative feelings start creeping in, give yourself a moment to pause and reflect. You might have a different outcome if you let go of your expectations (or at least find a way to adjust them).
Have a wonderful weekend!
Photo Credit: Niice Stuff