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originally posted by: SonOfTheLawOfOne
A simple, yet powerful formula. Once you realize how simple it is, it can be life changing.
Happiness = Reality - Expectations.
With a generation that thrives on instant gratification, expectations run rampant and have lost their proximity to and basis in reality.
The reality of the world, versus what we have been led to expect, is (in most cases) why people are so unhappy and feel like the world sucks. We have been led to believe that the people who represent us, actually DO represent us, and therefore, we believe that all of the our expectations will be met since they are supposed to represent them for us. Obviously that isn't true. The reality is that these people are greedy, manipulative, cunning, diabolical and don't care about us, which is far from what we should expect. This leads to a direct feeling of unhappiness, as well as a host of other feelings.
Another example is starting a new job that you are excited about. You expect that it's going to be perfect for you. You expect to be given respect from everyone you work with. You expect that you'll be valued as an employee. As time goes by, and you start to see reality for what it is, the gap between your new-found reality and the expectations you had starts to change. You realize that there are people who really don't like you, and you might not even know why. You work 70 hours a week and nobody even notices. In fact, you still get asked to do more. All of a sudden, you wake up one day, and realize that you are very, very unhappy. The larger the gap is between reality and what you expect, the more unhappy you are.
Or one that even more people can relate to.... A new relationship. You're so happy with this new person because they show you all of their absolute best qualities, setting an expectation for how things will be going forward. The relationship progresses, and you start to realize the reality, which is that they have disgusting habits, or don't get along with your friends, and suddenly you find yourself unhappy.
Or... you come to ATS expecting that you'll post something that people will appreciate and enjoy reading, that it will be flagged and starred and you will rejoice at your temporary ATS fame. Then reality hits you and you are unhappy that people don't like your post, so you go out and troll everyone else's. LOL
That is, unless you're the type that expects very little, and is therefore surprised and grateful for the reality you've been handed.
If the difference is negative, you're unhappy. If it's positive, you're happy. It really is that simple.
In a nutshell, it means that if you are looking for happiness, make sure that you have reasonable expectations, otherwise, you are all but guaranteed to be left with a deficit between what you expect and what you get with reality, and will likely be left unhappy in some way.
This simple way of looking at things can really impact your happiness.
Sometimes, people just don't know themselves like they think they do. Take a personality test of some kind and find out more about yourself so you can find ways to improve your happiness. I recommend this site for finding your potential but there are plenty of others out there.
My only expectation is that I wake up tomorrow breathing. As long as that happens in my reality, I'm happy.
Find your happiness by being real about your expectations and you can change your reality.
originally posted by: calstorm
I don't know. I honestly have very low expectations in life. The only thing I expect in life is for it to be hard. I have experienced so many losses and failures that I am nearly incapable of having wants or expectations. The loss of being able to have expectations and hope brings about unhappiness.