When we expect life to be different to reality, and constantly focus on that lack, we’re unhappy.
Going against the flow creates resistance.
When we embrace the present, whatever it holds, we’re more peaceful.
BUT, there’s an important caveat.
To grow or change, an important element of the human experience, we must use expectation as a motivating factor.
Otherwise, we’d simply sit in our pants all day eating Doritos.
So are human growth and happiness mutually exclusive?
I don’t think so.
A desire to change is a normal impulse.
But in a society and media which emphasises comparison and lack to sell you the happiness dream, our expectations are artificially inflated.
To live in a constant state of heightened expectation is unsustainable.
Instead, we must use desire in small doses, to realign the habits and behaviours most likely to lead to their eventual fulfilment.
Once we’ve used expectation as an impetus for change, we can plan the execution of our daily rituals.
Then take our eyes off the prize, focus on the system and let the results take care of themselves.