Everyone has expectations from other people and from themselves. And somehow, directly or indirectly, all our unhappiness stems from these expectations. We want everything in our lives to go according to our imaginations, our desires. We have planned out our lives in our heads. And every time something goes against our plans, we get sad. This disappointment arises from the fact that something didn’t work the way we had expected. But what if, we hadn’t expected anything at all? Would we feel dejected then? The answer is no. If we haven’t expected anything in advance, it doesn’t matter what happens. Nothing would be able to upset you then.
We expect a lot of things in our daily lives, even something as basic as the temperature of the water we use to have a bath. We get sad over the smallest of things because we desire control over everything. We want someone to behave in a certain way, someone in some other. We want someone to understand why we can’t put them first but want someone else to put us first, in all conditions.
It is unreasonable and impractical. Of course, we can’t control the world, but we can control ourselves. We can control what we do and what we don’t. We can be full of joy and glee and every positive emotion there is to exist.
How can this happen?
This can happen by eliminating all our expectations. Let’s take someone who has just begun to paint, as an example. Let us say that this artist wants to become really famous but he doesn’t achieve his goal. He will slowly get morose, burdened by his own expectations. He may even give up painting as a result. Let us consider that there is some another artist, who has just started painting too. But this one doesn’t expect to get famous. He paints because it is his passion and feels immense pleasure on getting even the slightest of fame and achievements. He may or may not achieve a lot of fame, but what he will surely achieve is true happiness. This example makes it very clear how a lot of expectations sadden us and how no expectations cheer us up.
Life is not a destination. It is a journey, something you have to explore on your own, not minding the roadblocks in your path and expecting nothing out of it so every challenge you come across inspires you to be better, rather than stopping you altogether.
So go on, destroy all expectations. Let life flow like a river and dive headfirst into it. That’s how you will learn to be happy in the true sense, and that’s how you’ll achieve a sense of peace, no matter who you are, or what your achievements are.