For some, this world is a disappointing place. People don’t come through for us. Institutions, businesses, politicians, and product peddlers frequently over-promise and under-deliver. Happiness seems to be a mirage. A wispy dream that dances in front of you but remains just beyond your fingertips. You expect one thing but constantly receive another…
And therein lies the problem. Your expectations dictate your level of happiness.
Your sense of entitlement fuels your expectations
Our expectations determine how happy we ultimately are.
Surprises— whether it be a birthday party, a gift, a visit, or just a small act of kindness— are so special and impactful for one fundamental reason: they are unexpected. It is hard to be disappointed by the random and unanticipated. You are not tied to the experience prior to it materializing. You accept it as is and are open, uninhibited, and your mind is untainted by your own preconceived notions. You are able to experience and then judge based on what actually occurred–not what you imagined.
So how do you curtail and manage your expectations?
You must first address and deal with your own sense of entitlement. Everyone, to some degree, believes they are owed something. The truth is neither the world, life, or God owes you anything. Period. We are not entitled to good health, wealth, success, material possessions, or even love. The ugly, naked reality is that when we enter this world, we are a blank canvas. We are all equal. We are dealt a specific set of circumstances and must respond accordingly.
Gratitude is the remedy for the entitled mindset. Genuine happiness comes with the realization that every good experience is a gift and every unsavory experience is an opportunity. And being grateful for both.