Happiness Does not Depend on the Fulfillment of Expectations

Happiness and Expectations

I recently saw on TV the movie, “Up in the air”, with the gorgeous actor George Clooney, which I like a lot (both the actor and the movie). In this movie, Clooney plays the character of a man who flies a lot, due to his work, and who knows all the airports of the US in and out.

Throughout the movie, he reminds us of his big and important goal. He wants to receive the prestigious membership card of those who have flown over ten million miles.

In his mind, the character that Clooney plays, relishes the thought that when he would reach the ten million miles in the air, the pilot will approach him, sit next to him, and hand him the prestigious club membership of those who have flown over ten million miles.

Over and again, he enjoys thinking about how exciting this moment will be, and how every passenger will look at him and celebrate this achievement with him.

However, when this climax moment arrives, he does not seem to enjoy it. It is not the uplifting moment he has expected, and all he feels while receiving the membership card is emptiness and disappointment.

I can easily sympathize with situations like these, when our expectations do not match reality.

This often happens, after achieving something we wanted for a long time, or when expecting an uplifting experience. When the moment we expected arrives, we do not feel the joy we fantasized about, and sometimes, might even feel disappointed.

Here are a few examples from my life:

1. Early in the morning, I fantasize about the hot cup of coffee that I shall drink at work. I imagine all morning how wonderful it would be to sip from this sweetened, strong and tasty cup of coffee. However, in reality, I drink it while working and I barely notice its flavor.

2. I love the opera. Some time ago, I went to see a certain opera performance. While driving to the opera house, I enthusiastically sang parts of the songs from the opera, with which I was familiar (I listened them earlier, on YouTube).

I had high expectations, since I read good reviews about the opera, and was very excited to see and enjoy the performance. However, when the curtains went up, I was disappointed to find that the director placed a transparent curtain in front of the stage. As a result, the singers and everything on the stage looked a bit dark and blurred, and I could not enjoy the opera as I expected.

3. As a young woman, I had many blind dates and often fantasized that I shall meet “Mister Right”, who will arrive, “riding on” a fancy car. I was disappointed over and again, when none of the guys I met was even near my expectations.

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The movie, “Up in the air”, made me realize that we tend to wrap goals, dreams and events with a thick layer of high expectations, and when things do not happen as we expected, we feel disappointed.

I think that the emotions and thoughts, with which we wrap everything, create the high expectations, and when these expectations are not met, we experience disappointment.

If we base your happiness and joy on the fulfillment of certain expectations or goals, and on external events, we might head toward disappointment, since not always things turn out as expected.

We should learn not to rely on external events and situations to bring us happiness. It would be foolish to let the non-fulfillment of our expectations to affect how we feel, and we should therefore, strive to be happy, no matter what is happening in our lives.

Expectations are great. They give us hope and motivation, but if they are not fulfilled, we should not let this make us feel bad. This would save us a lot of disappointment and unhappiness.

Our happiness should not depend on the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of our expectations.

About the Author
Dorina Sasson has been trained in Louise L. Hay’s teacher training course, and is a certified teacher for “You can heal your life” study course, and “Love yourself, heal your life” workshop.