Lower your expectations – a guide to happiness

A post by gosseyn at ATS.
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.

 

Link : http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1060821/pg1

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