Unrealistic Expectations Often Lead To Unhappiness

I found this article on Big Think.  Growing up, I learned that you had to prepare for the unexpected, to sharpen your coping skills, and be willing to alter your course as things changed.  I am often surprised when I see an acquaintance continually suffer through disappointment because “things didn’t go like I thought they would.” 

Maria Konnikova on September 1, 2011, 9:00 AM

I’m hungry. I head to the fridge—but first, I shake my head and say mournfully to myself, there’s nothing to eat. I’m not looking forward to the process of choosing from what I know to be inferior choices. Imagine, then, my surprise when I open the door and see a plate of… it doesn’t actually matter what, as long as it’s (1) something I’m really in the mood for and (2) something I’ve completely forgotten about. How happy am I?

Now, picture the opposite: I’m hungry. I head to the fridge, full of keen anticipation. I know that the piece of cake that was left over from last night is still there, eagerly awaiting me in its full beauty on a perfect white plate. I open the door and see a plate of… nothing. Sometime between last night and this afternoon, someone else ate my cake. Who. Ate. My. Cake. I had it all pictured in my head—how I’d get it out, how I’d sink my fork into it, take the first bite, feel the wonderful crumbliness on my tongue—and now, my hopes have been shattered. How upset am I? Continue reading