The Happiness Equation
From my daily blog
Let me introduce the happiness equation.
Happiness = Reality - Expectations
Your happiness is equal to the reality you are experiencing (the moments you are living in) minus the expectations you had of that reality. Let’s clarify this point with an example.
Imagine you are coming home from a long day at work. You are tired and ready to fall asleep. The moment you get home, you see that your partner prepared a nice dinner for you because she knows how hard you work. You didn’t expect that. You are delighted and grateful for your partner.
You experienced true happiness because you did not have any expectations of how things had to go.
Now let’s twist the example a bit. You are coming home from a long day at work. You are tired and ready to fall asleep. However, as you expect your partner to support you, the expectation is set and you expect a lovely dinner prepared for you. When you get home, indeed, your partner has prepared a nice dinner for you. You appreciate it but are not extraordinarily excited or grateful.
You experience some degree of happiness, however, much less than in the first example. The reason? You had expectations.
That’s the reason why I believe it’s important to manage your own expectations. Your expectations can become the biggest obstacle to true happiness. Although it might be hard to abolish them right away, merely acknowledging that there are certain expectations you have and then slowly reducing them can go a long way for you and your happiness. To allow yourself to be delighted, you need to get rid of your expectations.
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