Why You Should Continue To Lower Your Expectations

Flickr / kokorowashinjin
Flickr / kokorowashinjin

Are you happy? Like, really happy? As in long-term, not just in the moment because you’re reading this literary gem happy. I truly believe that many people (whether they admit it out loud or not) would answer that question with a “no” – and I don’t blame them. I can’t blame them. I won’t blame them for I would be blaming myself (and I only say amazing things about myself).

Thanks for indulging me. Here is where this happiness dilemma lies. As technology continues to advance with no signs of stopping, gone are the days of delayed gratification. Gone are the days of inconvenience. Gone are the days of being content with the present moment.

For good or for bad, we are constantly looking to the future (sup, future?). What will the next phone look like? Will people buy Kidz Bop 83? These are just a couple of the important questions I ponder on a regular basis. While some people get paid to wrestle with these thoughts, I can’t help but wonder if waiting and craving the “next big thing” is a roadblock to present-day happiness for others. Have we reached a point where we are no longer thankful for what is in front of us?

This is where we are at as a society (and excuse me for over-generalizing) and this is the direction we will continue to move towards. You like that? Awesome! I’m happy for you. However, luckily, if you don’t like it, there is something that can be done.

Lower your expectations.

No, lower. Keep going. I’m talking “bank account in college” low. It’s the only way. We had fun, it was a good run, and now we’re spoiled sh*ts. – so maybe let’s stop all that? (Pause: if you have to think about whether or not you’re spoiled, you probably are; I sure am. Unpause.)

Before you go full Britney on me, I’m not talking about lowering your standards when it comes to romance, or your career, or even more broadly your lifestyle. Everyone (unless you’re just an awful awful human) deserves to be happy and should be encouraged to have high expectations in those situations – situations that are long-term. I am speaking more to the day-to-day happenings.

Some of us need to pump the breaks on this over-demanding mindset. Just the other day I overheard a conversation in line. One girl was venting fairly loudly about her friend who doesn’t have a smartphone, thus their group text messages were not working correctly. #PrayersForTheGirlInLine

First of all, please cut off my ears and send them to space so I don’t ever have to hear a conversation like that ever again. Second, are you kidding? Seriously, if you’re reading this find my email and send me a note explaining if you were kidding or not.

Have we reached such a point where we just expect every single person we come in contact with to own a smartphone? Is it even legal to be friends with someone if they can’t snapchat you? [Throws up everywhere]

And the thing is, thousands if not millions of these same stories occur each day. I mean, I’m not great at math, but the number is probably high.

At this point I actually think that Jesus could physically manifest himself out of thin air for the world to see and someone would be like, “Really? That’s how you chose to rise from the dead? Is that all? 6 out of 10.” UGH.

It doesn’t stop there, though, ohhh no. The ungrateful train was still chugging on. As if my day couldn’t get any worse between the smartphone incident and a repeat episode of “Boy Meets World” (YES I SEE THE IRONY HERE) I just had to look at social media (because it’s always so enlightening).

Enter first world problems. OF COURSE, the first tweet I see read as follows:

“Tried soy milk today instead of skim milk. Worst decision ever made lol.”

Really? Worst decision ever? Do you realize that they’re still making Transformers movies?

It’s these very types of things that we need to move away from – that are detrimental to society. And I know it’s hard. It’s so hard. Believe me, when Netflix is down for even a second all I want to do is yell and scream and call up the president to make the nightmare end. But I don’t do that. Most of the time I don’t do that; because it’s important to remember the big picture. It’s important to remember that your worst problem may not even be on the radar of someone less fortunate.

Let’s switch our mindset. The world doesn’t owe us anything. Our only expectations should be waking up each day and breathing, beyond that, everything is a bonus. Pitch Perfect 2? Yeah, that’s a double bonus.

For so many of us it is second nature to assume quality, to welcome perfection, and to scold failure, but what if we just took life one step at a time? What if we didn’t make comparisons to past experiences? Would we be happier? I can’t answer that. I’m not a scientist – but it’s certainly an interesting thought. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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