Have you ever come to the conclusion that the crux of your problems may sometimes be because of your own monumental expectations from people or situations? And then let’s say you did some kind of introspection and even found out that the foundation of the problems are your own expectations and decided that now you will stop having any kind of expectations, but the whole enthusiasm and insight doesn’t last very long and as a result, you become utterly restless and irritated.
You come to this realization that your expectations are your own worst enemies but at the same time, you can’t help it at all. Does the predicament seem familiar? If yes, then by all means, continue ahead. If no, then what the hell are you doing here? Go make yourselves useful somewhere else.
Having no Expectations is a Pretty Big Expectation
All right now, so let me give it to you straight, there’s nobody, and I literally mean NOBODY, on the face of the earth who doesn’t have expectations. From a beggar living in a filthy street to Jeff Bezos, they all do have some kind of expectations.
Now, when does it become a problem? You must have heard that you should detach yourself from everything and blah blah but we didn’t clearly understand it. It doesn’t mean that your expectations will come to an end. It never will.
The problem arises when we say that we shouldn’t have any kind of expectations whatsoever. This initiates a fight within ourselves that is almost next to impossible to win.
As long as you are alive, you are bound to have some kind of expectation. You will have the expectation that people you are in a relationship with, show you some respect. Isn’t this an important expectation to have?
Isn’t it normal to expect your partner to stay loyal to you? If you don’t like smoking then isn’t it usual to expect your partner to not smoke right in your face? How can you forego such basic genuine expectations? Even if you want to, don’t; because then you would lose your own identity.
So, the wise thing to do will be to accept reality and forget about expecting to not expect anything. Then you have some chances of being at peace. Sure there will be problems in your path so even expecting that you won’t have any problems is just like expecting that your body remains free of any and every kind of disease.
It’s not practical. If you have a body it is bound to be at dis-ease from time to time. Always remember; the darker the night gets, the brighter the star appears. I got one more thing to explain this. It takes both sunshine and rain to form a rainbow. (my 8th-grade teacher told me this, and it got engraved in my mind ever since.)
Understand the Game of Universe
We don’t understand the game. The universe has got its own rules and doesn’t give a rat’s ass to what you believe or expect. We gotta align our thinking according to the universe we are living in by understanding the reality and accepting it.
The moment you accept that “yes, I am a human and I have some expectations just like every other human,” then you are one battle up already. Now at least you won’t be pissed off when you expect something as opposed to those who will get livid the minute they start expecting something when they think they shouldn’t.
The more you say, “I shouldn’t have expectations”, the more expectations you will have and the more irritated you will get. It’s just like saying “I won’t get thirsty” but ultimately you will succumb to it and then curse yourself as to why I got thirsty. The irony is the minute you accept this fully, your expectations automatically go down and you will find yourself in harmony.
The Right Kind of Expectations
Now there’s a flip side to this just like every coin has a head and a tail. Your expectations need to be realistic. If your partner is a chain smoker for 15 long years then it’s stupid to expect that he/she will stop smoking in a jiffy. This is called living in la-la land.
Expectations based on illusions are bound to lead to conflicts, stress, and suffering. The more realistic expectation in this situation will be to expect that your partner doesn’t smoke around you or your kids.
Let me ask you a Question
Now, if I ask you who’s the smartest and the dumbest person in this world? What is your answer gonna be? If we follow what the world is doing, then they will measure people by money, name, fame, etc. Oh! he has a Lamborghini and a private jet; he must be damn successful. But what about the fact that his wife just left him, or his kids don’t talk to him. The fact that he is miserable?
If you ask me, for me the intelligent person will be someone who is absolutely happy in life. Someone who knows how to expect the right thing at the right time and take the right actions. You guys tell me, would you rather be happy in your own eyes or be successful in other people’s eyes? I am not saying that you can’t be successful and happy both at the same time. Sure, you can be, and you should definitely strive for it.
But what good is ‘success’ if it doesn’t make you happy? What good is it if it makes you hollow and timid from the inside but full and stronger from the outside? Do you have a reason to be happy right at this moment? Wait, not one, you literally have infinite reasons.
Gratitude should be the Attitude
You are alive for one, which is not a small thing you see. Those who can really understand this are intelligent and those who can’t, well, sigh. They will keep on running in a race, postponing their happiness.
If you are reading this, then chances are you already are in the minority percentage of the population who is able to afford a roof over your head, have clothes to wear, and have 3 square meals a day. This might sound cliché but look at those who don’t have these basic facilities. We always tend to overlook everything we have and live in our own expectations bubble.
“I will become happy when I reach the million-dollar mark” and so on. Such people are gonna have a hard time coping with their expectations because it will become a never-ending loop of postponing your happiness to what you are expecting to happen tomorrow instead of what you are having today already.
Pay Attention to what you have Today
We don’t pay attention to what we have. We pay absolutely no importance to it and keep on running all our lives fulfilling our never-ending expectations of stuffing ourselves with materialistic possessions.
It is absolutely possible that whatever you wanna achieve so truly, madly, and deeply is actually garbage in front of what you have at the moment. So think about it, if you are not happy with the flowers you have in your garden today, then how in the world can you possibly be happy with the weeds you want so badly—misinterpreting them to be the real flowers?
You just gotta realize the importance of what you have today in order to be actually happy. So if I ask you what’s the most important thing in your life today, then what will you say? For many, the go-to answer will be “It’s my career, family, money, relationships”. I say these all are rubbish.
The most important thing in your life today is to analyze what truly is the most important thing in your life.
Health is Wealth
Let’s say if you are thinking that the career is the most important thing and let’s say you achieved 10 times what you were aspiring to be, but you lost what’s really precious today; your HEALTH! Now what? We don’t understand things this way. We will only understand this when our health is out of our control (just like you only know you loved her when you let her go.)
Think about it…… even though you got 10 times of what you were looking for, of what you expected will make you happy, but you don’t have what you already had all this time, your precious little health. Will that success be of any use to you? So, what should be the most important thing? Health.
Will its importance ever reduce with time? NO. In fact, the opposite.
People generally realize this in their late 40s when their health starts responding back to the harsh and cruel manner they treated their health with. We never think about the consequences our health will have because of our careers because we don’t know what’s really important to us in the first place.
So, shouldn’t the center point of all our major decisions be based on our health? The direct connection of health is happiness. It’s like a pre-requisite for a happy life, to put it simply. You will understand the importance of this statement when your health is torn apart. Just think about it, we can’t put our best even during a minuscule fever, so how can one expect to be happy if his health is not supporting him at all?
And once your health is already in shit, then all you will have left will be a glowing career (assuming you focused at least there) which will be absolutely useless, and a bucket full of regret and lament. But if you understand it right now and here only and embed it deeply in your mind, then chances are that it will be in a much much better condition. You will choose your decisions which will help you keep your health in check.
Don’t Take your Relationships for Granted
The second most important thing in life, which even I sometimes take for granted, is relationships. We tend to ignore people who genuinely want to stay connected with us.
Always looking at the negative side of any relationship is not gonna make it any better. We find every possible way to somehow put the blame on our parents, spouses, friends, or society but what we don’t understand is the real importance of having them.
We only understand their values once they are gone. So, this really is quite ironic that the people who should be the closest to us actually become close when they are really far apart. Nobody talks about such a thing, because everyone’s center point in their lives is their respective career which in turn is related to money. They start their life with money and end with money.
This really is a foolish way to live. Now I am not suggesting that you don’t earn money. Lack of money is the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Misery Factory.
Be Alive In Every Moment
Now what to do so that health remains at the top priority, always? In every moment of your life, be genuinely thankful for whatever you have got. Just plain, simple, real GRATITUDE!
If this kind of prayer keeps reverberating inside your head, “Thank God for everything”, and not just for show, but actually feeling blessed for whatever you have got, then something magical starts happening to you in this game of life. What most people do right now? “Hey God, thank you for my health, but you know my parents keep on nagging me all the time, so do something about it”.
This is plain BS. Your parents are not gonna change their behavior with a snap of fingers and you don’t have to complain about it all the time. Instead, you need to look at their positivity, and thank God for that. “Thank God, for my wonderful parents who always have my best interest in their mind and fulfill all my basic requirements of life.” If you start looking at things like this then you can truly start feeling surreal.
This is real prayer. The real Gratitude.
If you understand the actual worth of this, then honestly, you will be the smartest person in this world. And if you don’t understand this, then you are the dumbest person on the planet. Why? Because if you are not thankful for what you have got today(doesn’t matter how small or how big), then no matter what life gives you, you can never be happy. You will spend your entire life trying to fill that infinite void within you that will never end.
Fall in love with the feeling of thankfulness in each and every moment of your life. You will start sensing that you have got more than you need and will have this abundant feeling all the time. Caress your body, and be thankful for it. Be thankful for your health you have, the wealth you have amassed, the relationships you formed.
Close your eyes, place your hand on your beating heart, and experience every breath you take—every smile you put on—all the love you receive—the challenges that make you grow—the hardships that make you worthy—and the 112 other things that are working in your favor without you even knowing them.
Once you really embrace everything you have got at the moment, your expectations will automatically become realistic and you would no longer be a victim of it.
This is the Real Mantra. “THANK YOU”
The True PRAYER.