Expectation & Happiness? Do they go together
Last week I had an interesting 10 mile conversation with my good friend and author of “The Courageous Leader”, Angela Sebaly, about the basic things that bother many of us on a daily basis.
On this therapeutic run I shared a few examples of my own i.e. how the dirty clothes in my house can NEVER find their way to the laundry basket and how this used to make my mornings miserable… but after years of getting upset and trying to fight it… I finally realized that the feelings had a lot to do with my expectations of my family putting the dirty clothes inside (yes! not on top or beside… “INSIDE” the basket IMMEDIATELY after they took it off!
One morning I just gave up and decided that I will put the clothes inside the basket myself since I had to put mine away anyway… I made this decision after evaluating the situation from a different perspective. MY goal was to leave the house “organized” before I drop the kids at school but my husband and kids goals were totally different!
The day I decided to stop expecting them to align to my goals and just focus on getting my stuff done, everything started flowing much better for everybody… and yes, sometimes the clothes did find their way into the dirty laundry basket!!!
After 10 miles, we came to the conclusion that it is better to set high expectations on ourselves not others, happiness is something that depends on us 100%… Expecting things from others all the time makes you vulnerable to being unsatisfied and believe me, life is way too short to be moody and miserable more than 2 days a month!
I am not telling you to become a super machine and start doing everybody’s chores but prioritize what is really important for you. Consider the situation from a different perspective and make a plan where YOU are in control to make change happen. For example, if you expect your kids to be better students give them the tools to succeed (tutors, books, more hours to study, guidance…) at that point you have done whatever you could but the grade has to be your child’s responsibility, not yours. Do whatever it takes to be a good parent after all you are not the student!
A classic example for expectations and happiness are the presents! Have you ever expected Santa to bring that beautiful necklace that you have being eyeing for a while but instead you get a vacuum cleaner (doesn’t matter if it is an iRobot)? Don’t loose it! just make sure you tell “Santa” where to get your Christmas present (several times) before the Holidays!
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Picture courtesy of: Christmas photograph designed by Freepik