Lately i’ve been thinking a lot about expectations and how they pretty much seem to determine happiness. I’m not sure if that is actually true, but it does seem very logical. There are people in my life who seem to expect a lot of me and think I can do much better than what I am doing. I get told this a lot, even though I’m a pretty good, upstanding guy who takes care of himself and doesn’t do harm to anybody else. Basically I live my life. But I guess how people see me is as a person who is not living up to what i could be. I’m not really even sure what that is. Maybe they see that I’m not happy, therefore they automatically think I can do better, which is a fair thought. I also think it’s a money thing…somehow the fact that i am above average in the looks department and a genuinely good person makes people think I should be making more money than what I am making.
I also put a lot of pressure and expectations on myself, which when I think about it, seems to make me unhappy. I put expectations on relationships i’m in or jobs I have, or places I live, or places I go…and ultimately if they don’t live up to my expectations, then it makes me unhappy…or at least trends south towards unhappiness.
In a way I feel like this type of reasoning is just an excuse for me to not do better in my life. And maybe it is. But my buddy asked me the other day when he brought up this topic to me, “what does do better mean?”
It made me stop and think and I wasn’t sure. I feel like 90% of it involves being more financially stable…otherwise i feel like i live my life pretty close to how I would want to live it as far as how i was raised, where i live and the people i know. If I find a better job and/or start a business that i stick with for 20 years and make more money, would that mean I am doing better in life and would that mean i am living up to my expectations and others expectations equaling happiness?
What if i was an unattractive person who had a low-income job and I wasn’t expecting to date a beautiful, smart girl to travel the world with and I loved video games and I was content sitting around playing video games with no expectations of anything else. Would that person be happier than me because he just didn’t have as high of goals? That’s kinda why they think the Danish people are the happiest people on earth, because they just don’t expect much.
How would anything in our society get done if nobody had expectations to get them done?
Lately I’ve been struggling a lot trying to live up to other people’s expectations…really for about the past 2 years. There are people in my life i care so deeply about that I don’t want to let down and who make me feel like if i just do better at this or that, then i will be happy and they will be happy. But I’m just not sure if that is true. Maybe if I just focus on each moment in my life, and only look to the future when it’s absolutely necessary, then I will end up enjoying life more and being a happier person with less negative energy and less worry and stress. I think that will be my news years resolution, the first one I will have ever made. I think it’s going to be worth the try to lower my expectations and just enjoy when they are exceeded.