‘Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed’ ~Alexander Pope
Every morning we wake up and open our front doors to pick up the newspaper and enjoy the fresh news with a nice cup of steaming tea/coffee. Well, that is usually the ritual in my house. Now we have been having this ritual for years and years and I am beginning to think it was passed down from our forefathers…:)
When one fine Sunday morning (when we await the paper the most..) It doesn’t arrive! Ahhhhh……all hell breaks loose. Tempers are lost, phone calls to the paper delivery company are made, moods go sour and finally the first few hours of the glorious Sunday are lost. Why?? Cause the newspaper wasn’t delivered…NO No NO..Because the news paper wasn’t where we expected it to be..in our hands with our morning coffee. Now, why the paper wasn’t delivered is secondary, the fact that all that time and effort was unnecessarily lost for something as small as a newspaper is something to think about……
Now the above newspaper incident was just an example of our little, unknown expectations, which when tampered with can have adverse effects on our psyche. Everyday all of us have these little expectations which we don’t even think about, like the car will start in the morning when I turn on the ignition, the elevator at the office/mall will work, the grocery store will have eggs, etc.
Our Expectations can be of two kinds KNOWN and UNKNOWN.
Now, unknown seems to be quite clear, but the known, now they are a totally different ball game all together. Lets say you were expecting a raise, you were expecting your daughter/son to get A’s, you expected the project you worked on would get you accolades, you expected sending a gift to someone would get you closer to them, you expected your usually busy husband to be un-busy…etc.
What happens when you dont get what you are Knowingly expecting?
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” ~ Shakespeare
Not getting what you Knowingly Expected gives rise to more intense reactions from your end. There could be anger, crying, stress, tension, anxiety. The worst part about known expectations is, the expecting per say can be even more stressing. At least in the unknown you were reacting after, but here your reactions are before and after. You are stressing yourself up with these known expectations which in your heart of hearts you know are ridiculous to begin with!
Wow..ever wondered how expectations can engulf your life? Think about it now….
Not only do expectations have a life of their own..but they have an after life as well.
Why oh why then do we have so many Expectations?
If you have noticed, there are people who are always happy. In all the worst possible situations you might see someone always carrying a happy smile. Who are these people? Do they not have feelings? How can they be happy when something is so horribly wrong? I would like to think they are happy with themselves rather than at the situation…That they have a certain acceptance of things in and around them that can make them feel CONTENT.
Ask yourself if you’re truly content with yourself.
Contentment leads to no-expectations. No expectations leads to a certain calm within our self. The fact that we expect so much, not only leads to mental anguish but to physical pain as well. Stress and tension which in turn lead to blood pressure, heart ailments…the list of problems can be endless…but the solution is just one…..
What is Contentment really?
I believe contentment is Inner Tranquility. It is the freedom from anxiety, want or need. Contentment is the goal behind all goals because once achieved there is nothing to seek until it is lost.
When one can live in the moment without expectations, in harmony with experiences, one has achieved the truest inner contentment possible.
“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.”~ Lin Yu-t’ang
No Expectations = True Inner Contentment = Happiness.
And, isnt that what we all want ultimately…to be truly happy from within.
YOUR THOUGHTS -> Are you stuck in the web of expectations or have you been able to come out of it and find contentment? Do you think its essential to your happiness? Share your thoughts and your wisdom in the comments.
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