The secret to happiness is to not expect too much. The secret to success is to expect it all…
So what do you do with that information?
I struggle with it…
What if you want to be happy AND successful? What if being successful is one of the things that makes you happy?
The problem is in the expectation part. Dream, fantasize, imagine... BUT DON'T EXPECT. SHEESH...
noun: expectation; plural noun: expectations
1. a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
Right??? When you look at the definition, you see the problem!
Something develops in our minds that we believe will make us happy.
We hope that it happens because imagining that it will, brings us contentment and peace. If/when it doesn’t, we are unhappy.
Because we wanted it to happen, or EXPECTED it to. We are disappointed and need to process this newly found result. We weren’t prepared for this not to happen and it can really knock us on our ass.
We seek support. We join a group of other people experiencing the same loss. We write, we pray, we seek counsel etc. We address it in whatever way we believe will help us and eventually (hopefully) we move forward. We let go and embrace our lives again and we do our best to close that chapter.
Whether it is a spontaneous, un-medicated natural birth that manifested into something other than that, or it is that a friend or mate doesn’t want the same thing from the relationship that we do, or that we didn’t get the raise we were promised, or any number of other expectations....
If I expect a natural birth, and don’t have it, I will be unhappy. But if I don’t expect it, how can I achieve it?
If I expect my friend/mate to give to our relationship with the same commitment that I give, and they don’t, I will be unhappy. But why start a friendship/relationship with someone that you don’t expect will give what you give?
If I expect a raise, and I don’t get it, I will be disappointed but if I don’t expect to be rewarded for a high level of performance, why bother performing at a higher level?
So now that we know the problem, what the hell is the solution?!?!
Don’t look at me!
I have no idea.
My best guess is that we continue to expect! We continue to expect it all! That’s what I’m gonna do. I’m just not conditioned to do life any other way. Maybe we just put a little bit more time into setting up our systems for disappointment. Maybe we secure our strongest relationships and invest more time in those. Maybe we form a closer bond to our spirituality. Maybe we take the time to be more comfortable journaling. Maybe yoga is the tool we use to bring us comfort in hard times or maybe it’s meditation.
Whatever it is, I believe we should focus on what we want and continue to expect it to happen. Perhaps we should realize that people and situations will disappoint us, but we don't have to be disappointed in ourselves!
With loving compassion for myself: The rock n’ Roll Doula