Happy Expectations

Expectations 2-3Have you ever had high hopes for something or someone and been miserably disappointed?

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced that at least once.

Lofty expectations can be exciting and wonderful. Expectations are all about anticipation, hope, and looking forward to something with a mental attitude that it will be amazing.

Most of us have probably even thought “when this happens, I’m going to be so happy.”

When the expectations materialize like we’d planned, we’re  on cloud nine.

And when expectations fall far short of the mark, we’re disappointed, let-down, upset, or maybe even depressed.

What I’ve found (and been reminded of so many times recently) is that expectations can create false hope and when we pin our happiness to those expectations, we are disappointed more often than not, especially when we have expectations of things we can’t control.

I know I’m terribly guilty of setting high expectations and continuing to be disappointed.  What I need to work on is setting realistic expectations, focusing on what I can control,  and letting go of the rest.

A good example would be this: I would love to sell a million books this year. That is a high expectation. But it is also an expectation I can’t control. What I can control is the number of books I write and publish this year. That will have an impact on the number of books I sell. So my expectation should be to write X number of books not sell X number of books.

If I tie my happiness to selling a certain number, it is guaranteed to make me unhappy if I don’t reach the goal.

I think the best thing to do is set realistic expectations and let go of the rest.

The photo above, with the balloons, made me smile.

The reason is this: picture yourself taking a balloon and blowing all those false expectations, all your disappointments into it. Then do another. And another. Now you’ve got a huge bunch of balloons filled with all those things that were weighing you down.

Let them go.

Watching them soar up in the sky and float away.

Now, be happy.

Each Monday I share my thoughts on happiness in my own personal Happiness Project for 2014. Feel free to post your thoughts or comments on happiness.

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