Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Recent Thoughts on Expectation

“The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations.”
-- Eli Khamarov

These past few days I've had a lot of time to think and properly observe things that are going around me. Well, that and a few episodes of Kyle XY also make me see through this new life lesson (new to me anyway).

Expectations can be very dangerous. As per the words of Elliot Larson of, "Anger always comes from frustrated expectations."

It's one thing to expect something out of yourself, it's another to expect from someone else. You're bound to be less happy for expecting something (from someone else). See, if you don't get what you expected, it commonly resulted in anger. Then, if you get something great that you expect, it becomes less great (than when it is unexpected - referring to Eli Khamarov's quote at the beginning of this post). Well, why rob yourself of the best thing in life?

Take Kyle for example, the first few episodes saw him living as a happy innocent child with no expectations of others. As he progresses through days, this changes. The Jodi Picoult book that I'm currently reading -see this post- (Nineteen Minutes) is touching on this topic quite a bit too. The parents' expectations of the child. The children's expectations of the parents. The friends' expectations of another. The girlfriend expectations of a boyfriend. The list goes on and on.
“I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.”
-- Frederick Perls (Gestalt prayer)

The above quote would sound very selfish to me a few days ago. But, that was the naive me. The silly me who thinks that I should be able to expect from my closed ones (my family, my best friends, my partner) and that they should be able to expect from me. I've been observing some people for a while, wondering why does bad things seem to hurt them less and good things seem to make them happy for longer. I've also been wondering, why is it sometimes it seems that our relationship with acquaintances are so much simpler. Or, more strangely, why does a stranger's smile makes me happy? (see my recent post on happiness). What I've been looking for, has now become crystal clear to me.
“Happiness equals reality minus expectations”
-- Tom Magliozzi

The more I think about it, the more certain I am that it's best to strive to "Do not expect, just appreciate!" (Even more so with the loved ones closest to you).

No comments: