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lower your expectations - a guide to happiness

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posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 10:50 AM
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Lowering your expectations doesn't mean expecting nothing from existence, but it means expecting nothing in particular from existence.

The map is not the territory
Expecting many specific things from existence is like taking a map of any territory, and drawing on that map stuff that you want there to be. But the map is not the territory, it is just a map, and you will inevitably be disappointed once you set foot on said territory.

Masochism
Expecting many specific things from life is like giving a stick to Mr Reality and say "here is the stick, beat me", because Reality will inevitably prove you wrong at some point or another. Reality doesn't care about your expectations.

A joke
A shipwreck survivor who is almost drowning prays and asks god to help him and save him. One hour later, a boat comes, but the survivor says "no thanks, god will save me", 2 hours later another boat comes but the survivor says "no thanks, I am waiting for god to save me", 3 hours later the exact same thing happens again. The survivor drowns and dies. He goes to heaven and asks god "why didn't you save me ??", and god answers "but I sent you 3 boats !".

Binary thinking
Having specific expectations is forcing yourself to function on a binary mode, because specific things that you expect will happen or won't happen. Reality is not binary, but is made of potentialities, is made of one big ever changing process. Reality is dynamic and adopting a mode of thinking that reflects the nature of reality will make you more adapted to it. There is no point in trying to ignore reality, because there is only one reality and we are part of it. So many things can happen, and so many things that you expect may never happen.

Minimum Expectations = Maximum Happiness
The more opportunities you give yourself to be happy, the more happy you will be.


But if among the infinity of possibilities, you chose one and wait for it to happen, you may be proven wrong many times over.

The present and the future
Expectations are a thing of the future, but happiness can only be experienced in the present. Moreover, the only real thing is the present, the rest is fiction : the only way the future will be able to manifest itself will be through the present, just like the only way the past has been able to manifest itself was through the present. There is only the present and nothing else.




posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn
That is an awesomely insightful post.
And perfectly presented.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 12:05 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

Like when i joined ATS, I was expecting a lot of fine posts like yours. Then of course, reality set in and ATS did not fulfill those expectations. So now I visit occasionally, not expecting much and every now and then come across little gems like this one, making of course, staying with the place worthwhile.

A fine old ballad I heard years ago titled "Delicate Balance" had a line in it that to this day still rings in my mind. "Expectations we have
will lead down that path
where the devil discouragement lives. "



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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I always looked at it like this:

Learn how to be content with what you already have, even happy. Then set goals for where you want to be in life, but if the goals don't pan out because no matter how hard you might work at them, they just might not happen, you are still content where you are and able to exist with that.

Also stop thinking that life is a competition between what you have and what your neighbor has. That way lies madness. Certainly aim for the things you may want in life, but don't feel like you have to have things just because the guy across the street or next door has them. That's just an old outgrowth of the high school mentality that tried to tell you that if your peers had a certain brand of jeans, you needed them too even if they fit you like crap and cost as much as two pairs of the jeans that were comfortable.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

Or love yourself, know your are a powerful being made in the image and likeness of God and let that be your strength and joy .

You are good enough, even without millions of dollars and fancy cars.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 03:20 PM
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I was going to write a thread on hope being irrational. But I think that your thread does a better job of explaining what I was going to try and say. It's giving Mr. Reality a stick to beat you with. Awesome post.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 03:51 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
I always looked at it like this:

Learn how to be content with what you already have, even happy. Then set goals for where you want to be in life, but if the goals don't pan out because no matter how hard you might work at them, they just might not happen, you are still content where you are and able to exist with that.

Also stop thinking that life is a competition between what you have and what your neighbor has. That way lies madness. Certainly aim for the things you may want in life, but don't feel like you have to have things just because the guy across the street or next door has them. That's just an old outgrowth of the high school mentality that tried to tell you that if your peers had a certain brand of jeans, you needed them too even if they fit you like crap and cost as much as two pairs of the jeans that were comfortable.


It is not easy when the environment around you constantly reminds you that there are things that you should own, that you should buy, through advertisements that try to make you react emotionally and not intellectually. This competitive system that we have created for ourselves is certainly not the best system in terms of maximising human happiness. This system creates expectations for you, and for the least noble of all reasons : profit.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn
Well done post!

I agree there is one reality and from the standpoint of all the objects that appear and disappear, in reality, none of them are going to actually make me happy.

It is only by completely understanding that seeking for happiness through accumulation of things does not work, can happiness be seen to be already the case, inherent in reality. Such seeking for happiness as a consumer is only reinforcing the presumption that I am not already happy.

In any moment that I recognize I am fundamentally not all these objects that are arising (including the body-mind), but actually am feeling-awareness prior to, though not separate from, what is appearing - then I am inherently happy, already happy, free of the fear of dying and of being exploited by the demands to constantly consume.

edit on 3/22/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

None of the things in life are irreplaceable.

It's the people around you who can't be replaced. They're what matter and what you should concentrate on and worry about.

You could buy all the iPhones in the world and one will be just like the next out of the box. But there is only ever one Mother or one Father, one Sister or one Brother.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 06:21 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: gosseyn

None of the things in life are irreplaceable.

It's the people around you who can't be replaced. They're what matter and what you should concentrate on and worry about.

You could buy all the iPhones in the world and one will be just like the next out of the box. But there is only ever one Mother or one Father, one Sister or one Brother.



What about when they are all dead. And I do mean ALL. Well I never did have siblings to begin with but that besides the point. OH, and people should not learn to be happy in abusive or dangerous situations. Should a woman who is being trafficked for sex or the child being used as slave labor learn to be happy where they are at?

I am an anti-materialist with zero expectations in life. I think that the lack of expectation is dangerous if you are in a bad place. Lack of expectations of things getting better, creates lack of hope and there for makes life pointless.
OP, I am not explaining this very well, but you are only looking at one perceptive. Sure, there are people that need to lower expectation and too high of expectation does cause grief. But on the other hand a lack of expectations can cause depression and feeling that life is meaningless.

Balance, balance is the key. Reasonable expectations keep a person going. I see this as breeding apathy and stagnation of growth.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: [post=19148568]gosseyn[/post

Lowered Expectations Dating - When you been blowed off by the rest, settle for 2nd best!

MADtv Lowered Expectations Nestor

Mad TV - Lowered Expectations (Manny)

Mad TV - Lowered Expectations (Gena)



edit on 22-3-2015 by infolurker because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: calstorm

So every single person on the face of the earth is dead? Every person writing posts here is but a bot?

Nope sorry. You are still surrounded by people, and each of them is unique. Some of them are going to be worth meeting and getting to know and worth becoming important in your life. Biology is not the only determinant of a person's worth in your life.

As for people being trafficked, they still have to find a reason to go on. Should they be happy about the abuse? No, but that's hardly all that is in their life. There are other things in life, and they need to find the things that make their lives worth living. Then the goal is to get out of the abusive situation, but if they can't get free this time or the next, at least they have those things that make life worth living to fall back on keep them going, those glimmers of hope.

Those are the key.

Read any survivors' book in the world and you will see the pattern repeated over and over. The ones who find something to live for, a way to make their current circumstances livable, survivable are the ones who persevere and make it. The ones who surrender to the idea that they're screwed are the ones who die.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Your first sentence makes absolutely no sense in context with what I said. And the fact that you said there is only one and they can't be replaced.

I think you missed my point entirely. However, I don't need to read a survivors book. I have lived it, and can tell you that your last paragraph, while it may sound pretty, is not accurate. It is stubbornness, not apathy, the drive for change not "finding the little things" that save a persons life.

Look, I am exhausted, and probably doing a horrible job of trying to explain what I am trying to say, I will try to explain my self better when my eyes don't burn from lack of sleep.

edit on 22-3-2015 by calstorm because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn
Can you only expect what you know will happen?
Instead of expecting things that seem out of your control like weather, strangers, public transportation, it still seems safe to expect to be at a destination you will come to eventually without sweating the small stuff.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: calstorm

You lived it? The you found a reason to keep going. You could have decided that there was no reason to keep going and given up. For some reason you didn't, it was because you found reasons to have hope that things would change and improve somehow in some way.

I may not have lived the survival scenario, but I do live with chronic pain. I live with a mix of conditions that ensure there is very little I can do to alleviate it, so things in my life have very little hope of changing for the better. I will hurt for the rest of my life in all likelihood.

So I speak from experience too.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 11:05 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Via expectation the OP said not to have.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 07:23 AM
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originally posted by: calstorm
a reply to: ketsuko

Via expectation the OP said not to have.

I didn't say that people should have no expectations, but to be consciously aware that many things can happen and to have an open mind, to not have any fixation on any expectation that could arise. Just like meditation where you concentrate in order not to give focus to any thought in particular. It doesn't mean that you are not aware of those thoughts or even that you actively try to extinguish those thoughts, but you are not a slave to those thoughts anymore. That way you can take a step back and when this or that expectation turns out to be a disaster, you are emotionally and intellectually prepared, and it doesn't affect you as much. In a way it is about really living in the moment, knowing that anything can happen, and giving yourself the opportunity to intellectually process what happens, once the emotional factor is not an obstacle anymore. Because the truth is that between emotions and intellect, the most fragile is emotions, the less able to process reality, what-really-happens, is emotions. For example, someone could feel rejected by a group of people, emotionally there is going to be an impact, which will make this someone feel bad, but if this someone takes the time to intellectually process what happens/happened, this someone will understand that there is no reason to feel that bad, because there are so many factors, so many parameters, so many things that we didn't see, or understood in the wrong way etc.. It also doesn't mean to become a robot who feels nothing, but it means becoming master of your emotions, and ideally it means becoming able to consciously chose which emotion you want to experiment, and which emotion you want to let go.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:18 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

I will explain to you my conception of haves and wants:

In terms of things with monetary or physical values
- If you cannot afford it, then you can work for it
- If you cannot acquire it (regardless of cost) then you can make one yourself.

In terms of our achievements:
- If you persevere to the end, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

The key is time, you cannot be the impatient type who wants everything "now".

I feel that it is not really "things" that cause people to be unhappy, given my assumptions above, there is always a way to have the things that you want, eventually.

What really matters is what we want to experience in life...

In terms of our experiences:
- Not all experiences are possible for each individual.

Most of us want "experiences" to create happiness, and I must say that experiences cannot be bought or acquired, and even if you try to simulate certain experiences many are out of reach.

For example, you see somebody in a convertible cruising around - you want to feel "cool" however even when you buy a convertible you cannot feel the way that you wanted to.

Feelings in my mind are impossible to "have" and we have little control over them.

Most really want feelings such as "happiness" and I can tell you this I am simply not geared towards the experience of happiness, although, I do experience my own set of feelings, and the point is that certain feelings are incompatible with others, so it is like a game of paper scissors rock, most of the "un-enlightened" going around in circles trying to capture an experience that is unobtainable to them.

All we can really hope to experience is satisfaction in terms of who we are as people - "I am satisfied with what I am" - and to be satisfied, I believe that you must accept that being yourself means that you cannot experience what others experience, because you are individual.
edit on 24-3-2015 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:47 PM
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originally posted by: calstorm
OH, and people should not learn to be happy in abusive or dangerous situations. Should a woman who is being trafficked for sex or the child being used as slave labor learn to be happy where they are at?



Good point!

The "now" is not good. It needs to be improved on. If people want to be indifferent to the suffering of others and say "all is well", "it is what it is" then that is being lukewarm. That is not loving/spiritual at all.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 09:25 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn




Reality doesn't care about your expectations.


But my reality does for me and (my expectations) - goals have come to fruition.
There is no wants in my reality, only needs that have been fulfilled. I dont fret for the future. I try to live in the now. Worrying for the future is self-defeating.



the future will be able to manifest itself will be through the present,


See your future as having manifested, your needs, love, journeys. It is in the now - it has happened. It will manifest before you are even aware of it coming into your existence.



Minimum Expectations = Maximum Happiness


I find the following more accurate, but each to their own.
"What will happen will happen = Happiness"

Just always remember there is no scarcity, only the illusion of scarcity. The Universe is bountiful. There is no limit.



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