Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Expectations (2)

In my recent blogs, I have mentioned the upside and downside of having (no) expectations, without realising – and thus mentioning – my 14 August 2015 blog on Expectations. This blog explained the link between expectations, disappointment and (un)happiness.

PsychologyToday: “A new MRI study from University College of London indicates that the secret to happiness is low expectations. Author and neuroscientist Robb Rutledge says, “Happiness depends not on how well things are going but whether things are going better or worse than expected.”

Apart from this How, it’s also good to know What kind of expectations we have. A recent FB post mentioned an article on the “6 things you should stop expecting from others”Stan Slavov, the writer, made an impressive list in which items #3 and #4 appear to be similar:

  1. Don’t expect people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself enough.
  2. Stop expecting people to know what you are thinking.
  3. Stop expecting from everyone to make you happy.
  4. Stop relying on others for your own well-being.
  5. Don’t expect people to be fine all the time.
  6. Stop expecting people to fit in your idea of who they are.

The complexity of Expectations becomes clear once you identify its underlying components: our assumptions on a future and uncertain event regarding others and/or ourselves. These assumptions include our assumed statistical probabilities on Winning & Losing. Winning makes us happy (others) or improves our self-respect. Losing does the opposite. 

Having no expectations would change the equation as Losing would no longer be possible. The outcome would become either Neutral / Indifferent or a Win. Such an outcome may even feel like a Win-Win game. If having no expectations would be better then Why do we have expectations?

Perhaps the answer is hidden in the word game. A game arouses our curiosity. It may work like a multistage rocket: curiosityconsciousness, self-awareness, thinking, beliefs, and finally expectations. An expectation is nothing more than an opinion rooted in beliefs while facts are based on knowledge. Also see my 31 March 2016 blog: Why are opinions stronger than facts?

The multistage rocket from the previous paragraph already tells me that having no expectations is impossible. Being human implies having expectations. It is however possible to avoid high and apply low expectations, as both are human choices. Please also reread my 1st paragraph: “the secret to happiness is low expectations“. 

“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” Quote from Michael J. Fox

Expectations (2014) by Brika – artist, FB, lyrics, video, Wiki


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