Expectations are the death of a happy soul.
I was speaking with a friend the other day about my experience in Prague, and I realized something... I had the MOST amazing time and fell in love with that city for one reason - I had NO expectations about the city and the trip. I arrived solo, taking a night train from Koln to Prague city center, found my hostel and checked out local surroundings for a bit before a friend arrived and hiked around the city with me for a day and a half. We ate amazing food, saw the famous castle and city sights, and even went to a Czeck Musical! After that, I spent another two days just taking in the city and wondering around wherever I wanted to go, ate at random places, and watched a lot of street performers... It was lovely, and made all the better because I had NO expectation of how things "should" go on the trip or what I "should" do with my time. Sure, I had a list of the different sights I wanted to potentially see, list of foods to taste while there... however, there was no expectation of the "perfect trip."
After this chat, I read an article in Entrepreneur.com and it said the following:
"What did Epictetus, the great Stoic philosopher, say way back in the first century AD?
- 'People are disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them.'
What did Shakespeare write in "Hamlet"?
- 'There's nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.'
How about the Buddha?
- 'We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.'"
They are all so spot on... WE create our perceptions and therefore, the feelings we are having of frustration about the way an event turned out, or how an individual is acting. We have a view of how things "should" go, and it ruins our ability to live in the moment and be okay with how things really ARE going.
Expectations rarely give us happiness, and therefore... I'm giving up on expectations. There are some key things I shall request/demand in my life if someone wants to stay in my life, however, expecting someone to acting exactly the way I imagine it in my mind is only going to lead to disappointment when people make a different choice or mess-up. We're all human - we don't handle situations perfectly every time. Therefore, if I allow myself to experience a situation and react accordingly, I feel as though I can live with a lot less disappointment and unfulfilled desires.
When it comes to things in my life coming to fruition, I work hard to make them happen - I don't expect them to happen because I have talent or an opportunity. I will allow myself to be in the moment and feel the genuine emotions of that experience... not what I believe I "should" feel or want to feel. That's putting your happiness in the hands of a specific situation or person... and I want to choose my happiness and let it be genuinely present. And, how much more real is that?! I'm not anticipating an emotional reaction or response - I'm letting it naturally come forth. Healthier and happier approach in my mind...
There's a difference between advocating for high results with jobs, events, friends, dating, etc.... However, I'm digging this idea of letting life be what it is and having zero expectations. I've read "always have hope, though never expect." I can live by that rule. :)
Song of the Day: Love this song, even if it's over-played to some... and it kinda goes with the topic - "Let It Go" by James Bay, and covered by yours truly. :) Enjoy!
Sidenote: I'm halfway to 31 today! :) AND, guess what my fortune said this morning...? "As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it." DONE.