Reality – expectation = happiness
Is that formula correct?
If you got out of bed today hoping that every person you looked at would punch you in the face, you could probably have a great day when no one actually did it with you, huh?
The bottom line is that if you don’t get too excited about something, you won’t be disappointed when it ends up being moderate.
If you don’t expect anything good to happen, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it becomes too average.
That argument broke my heart.
It really is.
Is frustration really so horrible and painful that we are willing to give up all possibilities in our lives to avoid it?
Is it really worth it to give up our most precious dreams because we will temporarily regret failing them?
I will not accept it. We deserve much more than that.
Here’s how we can live a glorious life and raise our expectations:
Only expect great things from your own work
I think the biggest reason most people get frustrated is because they leave all their expectations completely out of their control. You can’t expect your boss to raise you, you can’t expect that pretty girl on the street to talk to you, you can’t expect to win the lottery.
They are funny dreams. I mean, how great would it be if the whole world leaned back to fulfill your wish?
Sadly that’s not how it works.
Luckily for us though, there is a way around it. We have to be the person who molds the world.
We have to take our dreams into our own hands.
You should expect a good position. And then work your tail off, learn the skills you need, and make the promotion a no-brainer for your boss.
You should expect to talk to that beautiful girl. And then smile and go meet him.
But you should not expect to win the lottery. It’s out of your hands. It is a waste of mental energy.
What is frustration? It is when life does not live up to your expectations… yet.
Anyone who has ever made anything out of them has struggled through the turbulent waves of despair.
Of course, you may find it painful and frustrating. But what if you think of it as a pass right?
What if it was mental training to help prepare you for the life you would soon be entitled to? What if you really wanted to achieve this by testing the universe only twice to make sure it was a goal?
Nothing good comes easily. I don’t think it’s an accident.
Will you let go of your frustration or will you use it as an inspiration to move forward?
What is the goal of comfort?
“Reality – Expectation = Happiness”
This lifestyle will make you very satisfied.
To be satisfied is to be in a “state of peaceful bliss.” To be satisfied means to be satisfied. To be satisfied means to be happy. To be content means to be at peace.
But we can live in peace only when we are old. I want to live in this moment!
We can only get so many years on this planet. We only get so much emotional experience.
I am not wasting my time in contentment.
I want to be full of wild, reckless, uncontrollable joy. I want to be overwhelmed by uncontrollable sorrow. I want to overcome painful accomplishments. I want to look back on my life with the burning pain of nostalgia. I want to be hungry. I choose to be discouraged because that is the only thing that stands out in being comprehensive, deep and honest.
To be comfortable on an airplane: You are stuck in it so you want to try to be at least comfortable while you are there. Comfort for people who want to do nothing but exist.
But this is your life! It is not a terrible punishment or a great test.
If anything, the test is whether we can realize how wonderful and beautiful this world really is.
What do you do Really Lose?
What do you really lose by keeping your expectations high?
What do you really gain from playing safely and staring at the wall all day?
The truth is we all suffer terrible failures. It is inevitable.
You will either fail Inside Life or you will fail A. Life
The first option has lights on the other side of the tunnel. The first option is to let you gain something from your failure.
And what about the second? You don’t have to feel anything. You will be able to exist in peace and comfort. No one will notice you when you leave.
Who is telling you to do this?
I think the advice from the wrong person is worth less. You don’t want to learn how to tax your puppy. You (hopefully) don’t get lessons from your accountant on how to be hugged and adored.
So who is advocating for lower expectations?
Comfortable old man-
The farther you go in life, the more your values will evolve. When you have already enjoyed your youthful, energetic years, you have different priorities. You don’t have the same drive to prove yourself. You don’t have the same determination. You have worked hard and you have been allowed to relax. You can live in peace, you can keep your feet up, you can set low expectations and collect the satisfaction that comes from doing so.
Several fans of Oriental philosophy subscribe to a passive “unity” with the universe. They seem to be driven by a deep and pure sense of wisdom far beyond the Western world. If there is only one right answer in life, then perhaps they have found it. Maybe I’m not mature enough. Maybe I was brainwashed into immersing myself in capitalism. But I don’t want the life they lead, at least not now.
When was the last time you heard a hugely successful person tell you not to take chances? People give advice based on what they have personally experienced. Anyone who has gotten halfway through and is discouraged will have a completely different perspective on how to approach life. Maybe they are right. Maybe going for gold is reckless and foolish. But it is important to note who is giving the advice and decide for yourself.
There is no right answer
The beauty of life is that you can decide how you want to live. I don’t believe there is a right way to do it. Everyone has their own way.
There is danger in choosing the wrong path for yourself. Find your own way but make sure it is the right way for you.
What drives you? Listen to it. Follow it.
What a tragedy it would be to lose your dream life because you were afraid of disappointment.
Start holding yourself with high standards and glorious expectations.
Ryan writes about funeral disruption and the search for an abandoned drainage tunnel Dopstock. It’s time to dump her and move on.
Image Credit: Caitlin Collins