How Expectations Can Lead To Unhappiness

One of the greatest lessons in business school is the importance of gaining perspective in any issue. The right point of view will help you surf through the cycles of the economy by discovering a niche market, solving a debilitating problem, or knowing when to turn around in order to avoid further losses. Perspective leads you to walk in your neighbor’s shoes, and see from a different position what is really going on. You start challenging the status quo and asking questions that hadn’t surfaced before.

Turning over rocks to comprehend the heart of the matter naturally brings up the expectations of both parties: the ones looking for answers and the ones being studied. Either can be equally surprised at staring the truth eye to eye. At times, the truth is such a scary, ugly being that we want nothing to do with it. In other occasions, it is like meeting a school friend you hadn’t seen in years, experiencing either a pleasant or awkward surprise.

In the last few months, I have held both the role of the researcher and the study subject. When I finally met with my expectations, I had both pleasant and awkward feelings. I sensed a relief for getting at the truth, and did not always like what the truth showed me. A problem may have arisen because of a lack of communication or a problem would be what pushed me to see what my true feelings were. I then discovered how hidden expectations are at the root of so much disagreement and frustration.

“I thought you were going to…” “I feel unappreciated.” “I don’t want to do…” “I should be…”

In the day to day, in my long term goals, in my prioritization, there would creep up a discontentment that I was not expecting and had a hard time accounting for. I don’t believe in keeping sadness company when it surprises you with a visit without reason. I would try to shake off the feeling by focusing on the things that were going right in my life but it isn’t always that easy. Some news would throw me for a loop and even though it might not directly affect me, I would feel involved. After dwelling on it, I would understand that I assumed that things would go my way.

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

It will go life’s way.

Setting my eyes on those expectations as my plan, was just a plan for failure. Even if I get most of what I want, something will go awry and I will feel a punch in my gut. Deeper than that were the reasons why I made a decision. Aspects of life that I didn’t believe I cared for, fueled my goals. Removing layer after layer I saw more of who I was. Identifying with my true self equipped me to voice my feelings and work openly with others on my plans and their plans as well. I now had the power to move forward because I understood what I really wanted.

Have hope and dreams; go after your passions and be ambitious. Be sure that you know and accept why you are truly going after them. While the truth can hurt and be challenging, it will definitely set us free.

Stay tuned for more on expectations.

One thought on “How Expectations Can Lead To Unhappiness

  1. Acceptance plays a huge part. One thing I learned is how expectations can affect us and learn to be with very less expectations from anything. I agree with you Karla. Such an empowering post.

    Liked by 1 person

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