Friday, November 22, 2013

Not So Great Expectations

Have you ever noticed that some of life's happiest moments are ones in which we have no expectations?

Studies show that one of the common characteristics of happy people is that they have few expectations.  Expectations can lead to disappointment and a failure to appreciate what's right in front of us.  The more we expect, the less grateful we are for what we have and what we receive, and ingratitude is the mother of unhappiness.  When we let go of expectations, when we are able to simply accept life as it is, we are free to lighten up, live in the moment, and appreciate the everyday beauty that surrounds us.

Of course we all have things to do, deadlines to meet, plans to complete, ambitions to consider and visions for which to strive.  We expect a great deal of ourselves.  Letting go of expectations doesn't mean that we live aimless lives.  It simply means that as we work towards achieving our goals, we do so with a sense of self-acceptance and an understanding that we are exactly where we belong at any point along the path.  We have to recognize and appreciate the difference between having aspirations and having expectations.   Life doesn't always adhere to our to do lists the way we'd like it to, and therefore, we can either lament about the things we aren't getting done fast or well enough, panic about things not turning out as expected, or, just as we do on the mat, we can accept ourselves exactly as we are at any given moment, take a breath, and continue to move forward.

We instinctively want to create and maintain a sense of momentum around our responsibilities and desires, but in the grand scheme of things, our happiness doesn't really depend upon how quickly we progress but, rather, with how accepting we are of ourselves and our present reality.

"Live your life.  Sing your song.  Not full of expectations.  Not for the ovations.  Do it for the joy of it."
~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

Often we expect so much more than the world has to offer.  If we learn to stop expecting impossible perfection in ourselves and in others, we can live more fully in the present, better appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, and feel a greater sense of contentment.

Have you ever noticed that some of the happiest moments are the ones in which we have no expectations?

Expectations Playlist