Expectations Kill Happiness
By Melissa Moore on August 12, 2021
Can you have success if you don’t have expectations? Aren’t expectations a natural part of life? You train for a marathon and expect to finish. You go to a job and expect to get paid. You expect your relationships to be honest and kind. Are expectations really a bad thing in life?
Expectations confuse the heck out of me. I have them and yet I find that my joy increases tenfold when I ditch my expectations of people and situations.
I’ve heard that there are magical people that live a life having zero expectations. They’re able to go with the flow in all areas of their life and rarely suffer disappointments. I am not one of those zero expectations people. I wish I could have that mindset, but I don’t’. My goal is smaller – I’m trying to minimize my expectations.
Where I struggle with expectations is with my standards. I believe that people should be honest and kind. That’s an expectation that time and again I’ve been hurt over, but how do I not expect that? I hear people say that nothing surprises them. Me? I’m constantly surprised! Especially when I feel like my minimal expectations are unmet by someone or some situation.
When I went on my first date with unicorn man, I honestly had zero expectations. I did though hope to meet a good person and hopefully have a decent conversation. I had a hope, but I didn’t have any expectations of him or the situation. Our initial date was supposed to be at a golf course listening to live music. It monsoon rained, the live music was canceled and we had to reschedule on the fly. Seeing how happy we are today, I would say it worked out the way it was supposed to. No expectations also made for a much more casual and relaxed evening.
When my gf and I traveled to Mexico for my birthday I had an expectation of vacation ease. I had a vision (maybe expectation?) of what I thought Mexico would feel like when we got to the resort. I didn’t expect to be put into a clear box and sprayed with an unknown disinfectant before we could enter the lobby. I remember looking at her while being sprayed and thinking what is going on here?!
It was at that moment that I had a choice. I could either let my unmet expectations of a carefree Mexico disappoint me or accept the reality. We laughed, felt gross and accepted the reality of Covid Mexico and scary chemicals sprayed on us.
Is it the unfulfilled expectations or our reactions to the unmet expectations that disappoint us?
Also, are expectations of people and places a form of control? Seeing how I am a control freak- I’m wondering if that is part of the problem for me. Am I trying to control a situation or person and then become disappointment when it (expectation) doesn’t work out the way I imagined?
Hmmm…big questions for the Universe. For now, I am a work in progress and will try and minimize my expectations. I’ll try….