Does expectation lead to happiness or unhappiness
According to the dictionary expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case. As mere mortals it is important for us to have things that we look forward to in order to maintain our sanity and get out of bed in the morning. It is also safe to assume that the happiest periods of our lives were in our childhoods .It’s easier to always think on a better yesterday. Most of us also notice that with age, responsibilities, dream, goals and duties we then to lose the joys that came easily during our childhoods. This lack of joy can be linked to our expectations on us and on others however most times these expectations are not meet and we tend to blame ourselves or blame other humans or some supernatural entity. The worse part is we only have control over one of the things we blame for our misfortunes. However the things that make us happy or unhappy are infinite and whether expectation can either lead you to happiness or unhappiness depends on your mind set which happens to depend on you.
Before we look at the cause of happiness lets define it. Happiness is a feeling or showing of pleasure or contentment. There are basically two types of happiness the first is the present momentary happiness. This form of happiness is temporary and fleeting but it is still essential and tends to find its roots in pleasure while the second type of happiness is hindsight happiness or long term happiness which has to do with accomplishments and achievements. Both types of happiness are important to people and can be affected by expectations in many ways. Expectations tend to have a negative effect on temporary happiness because meeting achieving our objectives usually involves sacrificing temporary pleasure in order to get a more permanent form of happiness while expectations if it is kept at a reasonable level can enhance permanent happiness it can also reduce both the permanent and the temporary happiness when it is excessive.
Expectations can be the cause of unhappiness when they are simply not being met for whatever reason possible from it being our fault maybe for not taking action to something outside our control. The solution for this can seem like the simplest thing we just have to expect the worse and we will avoid disappointment.
However, this solution to the problem will certainly not lead to happiness but perhaps a more detailed approach might solve the problem to an extent at least. The first cause of unmet expectations is us. This might be hard to swallow but more often than not we are the very cause of our misfortunes. We fail to plan adequately and even when we plan we also fail to follow up on our plans and while this can seem very bad the bright side is that we can work on it by improving our attitude, optimizing our daily routines and through our personal self-development. The second cause of unmet expectation lies with others or things outside of us and out of our control. This is obviously more difficult for us to come to terms with but the solution to this difficult problem is called acceptance.
Our ability to accept our failure is the most pragmatic way to deal with things beyond our control because at the end that is the only way we can be happy in spite of them. I always rationalize my emotions with this quote “if you can do something about a problem then why worry? And if you cannot do anything about a problem then why worry?” so applying this simple fixes can really help us mere mortal address the problem that come with our expectations.
On the other hand expectations also seem like an essential part of happiness. As mere mortals most times we need something to look forward to, to hope for and dream of. All of these things are just things we expect and things that we work for. But how much expectation is too much or too little? In order to find this out we need to look at expectations in details. There are short term expectations and long term expectations but most times all the expectations lead to an idealized image of how our lives should be at different points in our lives. Understanding our overall life goals and general expectations should help us determine our short term expectations and know the right type of things to expect from them. With all this factors considered we can have realistic dreams and follow them with short term goals and diligently create permanent happiness for ourselves through the actualization of our dreams.
In conclusion our pursuit of happiness is the very important part of our lives and our understanding of the effect of the things we do is definitely crucial. We need to take a step back and analyze ourselves then find out how we can use our very own expectations to our advantage through these suggestions or any other ones we might have in mind.