We all have the wish to be happy. Unfortunately many people don’t seem to reach this goal often in their daily lives. When the question comes up why that is, the answers will obviously depend on the individual situation of each person. One standard answer however which you can hear often and which will be right for nearly everybody is that they have too many or too high expectations. I, too, have spoken and written about expectations and disappointments that unavoidably follow. But what exactly does this really mean for your life?
Many people understand that their expectations are too high but when they try to address this problem in order to avoid further disappointment, they go into the complete opposite extreme. They then believe that they should not have any expectation at all. They stop aiming for anything, they stop setting their goals high. When they realize that they have a wish for something, they immediately tell themselves to stop dreaming, remove the wish from their mind and return to their normal day’s work.
The result: they are more miserable and unhappy than before! It didn’t help, on the contrary, they now ask themselves what they actually live for. What should I do in life if there is no wish to reach anywhere? What should I do if there is no goal to strive for?
I believe that the right way lies somewhere in between. You cannot lead a normal life without expectations. You may be able to retreat completely from normal life’s activities and go in meditation. If you can detach yourself from your friends, family and social life, if you can stop working and just meditate, yes, maybe you can get close to that state but in a normal life, with friends, family and work it is not possible. Even if you spend your time with meditation, you could have the expectation of getting into a deep state of meditation which may just not happen sometimes and again you are disappointed and unhappy. We have expectations and we face disappointment, it will definitely happen.
Don’t let the fear of disappointment restrain you though. Don’t let it keep you from setting your goals high! If you do that, you will block your own development! You won’t grow and you won’t have any hopes of reaching anywhere!
No, instead of reducing your expectations to zero, you have to learn how to deal with them in a proper way. Of course you can check from time to time whether your expectations are justified but if they are, if it is a dream and there is even the slightest chance that you could make it, go for it! Put your effort in! And if you do get disappointed, see small disappointments in a positive way – they make you stronger and help you grow.
Once you have made your experience – even if you failed – you can make another attempt and this one will be more precise and more confident, simply because you have already had a try. It is only in this way that you can get any further on your way. If you do honest effort in any field, something will happen. You will make a step forward – maybe not as far as you dreamed, but you do go forward and you get another experience.
If you don’t have hopes, dreams and expectations, there will be no movement. Your life will stagnate, you will not get anywhere and, most of all, you won’t be happy. No, don’t do this to your life! Dream, hope, let your imagination fly and simultaneously use your brain, hands and feet in order to make your dreams become reality!