“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be” (unknown). I recently bought that statement on a plaque while I was on vacation. I carted it across the country in my suitcase to hang it on my wall. I believe quite strongly in the power of our expectations to make us stumble. They decrease our happy feelings, increase our depressed feelings and increase our anxiety.
Expectations are the shoulds or musts that float around in our head. They are the thoughts we had in our head of what marriage, relationship or family would look like before we had it. They are the thoughts of what that dream job would be like before we started.
When we have these pictures in our head and the reality turns out differently than we expected we get mad. We rail against the world. We think “but it was supposed to turn out like…” We feel wronged.
How much easier and happier life would be if we lived more in the present moment! If we appreciated what we have in front of us. If we lived neither in the past nor in the future but truly looked around us and noticed and appreciated the abundance in front of us, doing the best we could to produce the results we want and letting the chips fall where they may. The bottom line is in order to feel happier, release expectations. What expectations can you release today? And in their place, what appreciations can you find?