February 05, 2015

Seven Mistakes We Make in the Pursuit of Happiness #4

4.  We let our expectations sap the joy out of genuine experiences.

Think about a time when you were looking forward to something.  Maybe it was as simple as a nice walk on the beach with your spouse, or perhaps a vacation you had been planning.

When the time finally came, did you find yourself getting completely lost in the experience and having a great time, or were you scatter-brained with expectations of how the experience was “supposed to be,” and thus subconsciously feeling somewhat disappointed?

Too often we become so determined to feel happy in a certain way, that we end up focusing too much on whether an experience is meeting our expectations.

But studies show that people who do certain activities with a specific set of expectations, or who monitor how much they are enjoying themselves every step of the way, end up actually enjoying themselves less than those who simply let go and focus on immersing themselves in the experience.

Rather than striving for happiness through the expectation of how things should be, try to accept whatever experiences come your way.  That way, you’ll be able to appreciate and more easily notice all the positive things around you as opposed to feeling disappointed when things don’t measure up to fantasies.

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