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Expect the expected

We all know that happiness can come right here right now. We’ve discussed it here on ForeverHappyNow many times already. That is because happiness is nothing more than a choice, and a state of mind. But we still hand over the control aka the choice to the monkey-mind!

There is a huge chasm that exists between our current life and the life that we believe we deserve. The operating word being ‘deserve’. Do you believe you deserve a better pay or a better bonus? Of course! A better relationship? A better house? A better car? A better friends’ circle? The answer is always yes. The image we have of ourselves is often of do-gooders who are somehow waylaid by life, unable perhaps to get to that level of greatness we each think we are so capable of.

And we certainly may be capable of greatness – no denying that. But when we envision ourselves as great people, we also begin to believe that we deserve more than we already have. This comes in the way of happiness because being great is not necessarily the same as being happy. This leads to higher expectations, anxiety and dissatisfaction.

Setting the ‘expectations’ bar very low helps. The great late-physicist Stephen Hawking, famous for books such as A Brief History of Time and The Theory of Everything, was diagnosed with motor-neuron disease. He was paralysed and unable to talk from the young age of 21. His doctors gave him only a few years to live, but as those who have seen his videos and interviews (he could speak only through a computer) know, he was also a witty and humorous person, and lived till the age of 76. An interviewer once asked him, “Are you always this cheerful?”. Mr. Hawking replied, “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus!”

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