What We Get From Expectations.

“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations”  – Elliot Larson.

We are taught we must expect things from life and people. We expect things will go as planned. We expect friends will behave in a certain way we approve. We expect life will provide us with happiness. We expect health and well-being.

We want to anticipate to the future by expecting how things will occur. We are blinded by the illusion of expectations of things that have not happened yet.

We expect whatever is convenient for us to feel good and happy. Or if you are gloomy and dark, you expect for things to go totally wrong and negative. Whichever mood you are in, the bottom line is that you define a Box of Expectations.

What people don’t realize is that holding tight to their expectations is one effective way to suffering since we rely on something to happen in a certain way to be happy.

For example, I could say: “Oh, I expect this day will be sunny and I’ll get the perfect romantic date” but what I’m doing with this thought is limiting what happines will be for me. I’m putting all my energies into a tiny box of how things should be so I can be happy.

So, What happens if the situation is different? Following the previous example, if the day is cloudy or rainy, I may feel grumpy or mad. If the date is not who I thought he/she would be, I will feel frustrated and unhappy. Then I would blame the climate “This crazy climate change!” or “This person is so wrong!” or maybe “This place is a disaster”.

It is our natural response to blame others because we forget it was ourselves who defined what happiness was going to be. We forget about that Box of Expectations we built from the beginning.

But not everything is lost…

What happens if I let go my expectations? If it rains, I could say “What a wonderful opportunity to kiss under the rain!” or “What a perfect moment to get closer and cozy!” or maybe “This person is very spontanous!” or “This place is not suitable for rainy days!”.

When you let go expectations, you are open to a whole new different experience. You are not tied to The Box anymore. In fact, you are able to transform the Box. Each situation is as flexible as you let it be. 

So, what good are expectations for? 

Expectations are the core for accomplishments. Expectations are like a map: you know where you want to go, but soon you realize you can take different routes to arrive.

There cannot be accomplishments without expectations. The key is to be flexible in every situation.

Remember that you are in control of your thoughts, your speech and your actions. You are not in control of your mom, your boyfriend, your teacher. You cannot control the weather, the traffic or things from breaking apart.  

Keep in mind that a situation doesn’t define your feelings. You define your feelings. Don’t hold tight to your expectations. If things change, be free to improvise. Be creative and transform any obstacle. Remember that it’s you who can be happy or unhappy if trapped in heavy traffic. Remember it’s you who can decide to sing or to shout.

A hit: People like singers, not yellers.

How Ambitious Are You?

Being happy is something you have to learn. I often surprise myself by saying “Wow, this is it. I guess I’m happy. I got a home I love. A career that I love. I’m even feeling more and more at peace with myself.” If there’s something else to happiness, let me know. I’m ambitious for that, too.  – Harrison Ford

Life is an open space for infinite possibilities. Living everyday for a lot of years gives us the sense that we have to do something.

Since we are not dying yet, it sounds logical that we should try to find purpose, that we have to find something meaningful to do in the meantime, and with this mindset we go and learn, develop, grow, build and share things and feelings… but we also forget, ignore and destroy in order to accomplish whatever purpose we follow.

While we grow up, we are taught to dream high and work (or get others to work) to get what we dream. We go everyday “I want to do this“, “I have to do this and that“, and depending on the quantity and the quality of our desires, people admire us and call us “ambitious” and “determined”

We become ambitious about what we want, because most of the times we think we will find happiness in it.

And to accomplish our desires, sometimes we create to-do lists with items that outline our goal. Items that have a beginning, a middle and an end, and when we finish one, we jump to another thing, then to another one… and one more, until it becomes… endless to stop.

It becomes important to achieve things but sometimes we forget to enjoy what we do, we forget to be happy doing those things.

We think all those things are important. Of course they are, no doubt about it.
I’m not against goals and to-do lists, but the unhappiness they produce.

I have to-do lists, project list, supermarket lists. Daily, I have an amount of work that has to be delivered on time, and surely I don’t like to feel unhappy or stressed at the end of the day. I transform ideas into plans. I’m ambitious about my profession, about travelling with my loved one, about friends and feelings too. But the most important ambition I have is to be happy.

Is Real Happiness your bigger ambition?
Or is the Idea of Happiness?

Hint: Real Happiness and the Idea of Happiness are not the same. The first one is an accion and happens all the time, when you realize about the moment you are in. The second one is a concept that requires a medium to be tangible. that medium can be a thing, a person, an idea or a feeling.

Every morning, while you shower or take that first cup of coffe in the morning say to yourself: “Today I will find happiness in everything around me” “Today, I want everybody around me to be happy”.

Repeat it at every moment you can, when you drive, when you go to the bathroom, when you go to bed… repeat it with calm and honesty, and please, come back to tell how it goes…

Happiness Is Like Air

Happiness, like air, is not something you can put in a bottle. – Anonymous

Happiness is something you cannot own because if you own it then you will be afraid someone else will steal it from you. If you own happiness you will be afraid of losing it, leading to sadness or anxiety for getting it back.

Happiness cannot be sold because then you will have to buy it or you will have to get the means to buy it, leading to stress and fear because after buying “one happiness” you will have to buy some more after it ends. It cannot be packaged or bottled, because as everything in nature it has to flow to be alive otherwise it rots.

Happiness cannot be taught because if it is difficult for you to understand or your teacher is not successful at teaching it, both of you will be frustrated, which is completely the opposite of what you were trying to teach and learn.

Happiness cannot be defined because my definition won’t match yours and since points of view are always changing, there would be more wars trying to establish what happiness should be for everyone.

Then, Happiness is within everyone. It has to come free and naturally to be enjoyed at any time.

 Happiness can only be acknowledged after experience. And let me tell you a little secret: We’ve all experienced it before. So, Why does it seem impossible to experience it again? Why does it vanishes when you look for it?

Happiness, like air, cannot be seen, just sensed. On a very hot day, suddenly you feel the gently wind blowing and refreshing you, making you feel comfortable and for a moment you completely forget about the heat.

Just like happiness, once you acknowledge the present moment you are living, you feel relaxed, you forget about memories form the past and desires from the future, you get enchanted by that tiny moment of peace, of happiness.

So what happens after that moment is gone? You think you want to feel it again, so you remember about it, you get stucked on that moment from the past forgetting that the very nature of the happy moment was about the present moment.

But, how do you get that moment to keep on happening more frequently? or even better, how do you feel happiness all the time?

Remember,  Happiness, like air, is for breathing. Breathing is an action we do without thinking about it. Like Happiness, it just happens!

Sounds difficult? When you think of it as something you have to accomplish, it is impossible to achieve, instead if you acknowledge and give thanks for the moment you are in, happiness surrounds you in a very natural way.

So first, remember to acknowledge you are alive and be thankful you are breathing. Happiness will come around sooner than you think.

Happy vs. Smart

Smart and Happy are mixed ingredients that are not found in the same recipe sometimes.

You can be Smart but this doesn’t lead to happiness most of the times, especially in Western Lifestyle. You can be Happy but not necessarily be “smart” as smarts says smart is. Diesel last “Be Stupid” campaign shows a very sacarstic yet true message “Be stupid and most likely you’ll have all the fun” but what is fun but a limited-time moment? That’s when the struggle begins… do I want to be happy by having short moments of fun? or, do I want to be happy being happy at every moment?

Be stupid and most likely you’ll have all the fun.

I used to think that Smart and Happy were distant concepts, like ugly cousins who don’t share the same room… but my mistake was in not defining what “happy” and “smart” was to me.

Let’s face it: when smart and happiness come mixed in the same sentence, things get all tangled up.

Is “smart” being what scholars and academics say it is, like a merely number defined by IQ tests? Is “smart” being able to rationalize on sutff? Is “happiness” the ability to enjoy every situation in life? Is “smart” the ability to understand situations and transform them? I don’t intent to define what smart or happiness means because there are plenty of definitions out there already and especially since you may have a very personal definition on these subject but let’s face it: when smart and happiness come mixed in the same sentence, things get all tangled up.

So, this blog is entitled to find and share perspectives on “smart-ness” and “happiness” as seen and experienced in this oh so called modern civilization.

Let’s see how it goes, and feel free to join this company of happy humans. =)

Kudos!