Our Expectations and Our Reality

Megan Gressor said that the happiest person she’d ever met operates a pedicab in Saigon. He’d fought on the losing side in the Vietnam War, spent ten years in a re-education camp, had married late and now had a little girl, the great joy of his life. With a background like that what right had he to be happy, earning a pittance taking tourists, infinitely wealthier and infinitely more miserable than he, round the sites of the battles he’d lost?
Well, with great insight, Megan writes, ‘Happiness isn’t measured in absolute terms: it’s to do with the fit between our expectations and our reality. He’d done better than he’d expected and so he was happier than he’d ever dared hope.’
To me he’d learned one of life’s greatest lessons – to set realistic expectations and truly appreciate what he got rather than agonising about what was unavailable to him. Schopenhauer said ‘we rarely think about the 95% we have, but always about the 5% we lack.’ Sometimes we have to lower the bar of our expectations to be happy.

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This entry was posted in Encouragement, inner peace, Inspirational, Joy, Life's journey, Living Life, Personal Growth, relationships, satisfaction, Spirituality, thankfulness and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Our Expectations and Our Reality

  1. Patricia Schreiber says:

    Bob,
    I love your short commentaries—-full of wisdom! This one on expectations was particularly helpful to me today.
    Hope things are going well for you and Marilyn!
    Blessings,
    Pat Schreiber

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