How to Lower Your Expectations and Be Happier

Did you find out? Now people have more and more, but live less and less happy.

In the past, being full of food and drink was happiness, but now, rich clothes and fine food may not be enough;

In the past, family members were healthy and fulfilled, but now, helping each other may not be fulfilled.

We always think that we can reach a higher level of happiness by gaining more, but when we look back, we find that:

All the way, all the way lost.

As the writer Mudd wrote in “Allow Yourself to Idle Time”:

“I gradually understand why I am not happy, because I am always looking forward to a result.

Read a book and expect it to make me deep; eat and swim and expect it to make me lose a jin; treat others well and expect to be treated well in return. ”

Human nature is greedy, hoping for a good result in everything, but forgetting that the present is more important than the future.

The root of a person’s suffering is not having too little, but having too high expectations.


The higher the expectation, the harder the life

I once saw the news about a top scorer in the college entrance examination.

Yao Yuan was the champion of science in Hubei Province in 1990. He studied at Beijing Institute of Technology and was successfully hired by an ordnance research institute after graduation.

According to common sense, Yao Yuan was offered a permanent job as soon as he graduated, which is something that many people couldn’t ask for.

Yao Yuan is not content with this. He feels that he is a top student in a prestigious school, the pride of the whole village, and should not be buried at the grassroots level.

Therefore, Yao Yuan resigned in disregard of his family’s opposition and went to Shanghai to make a living.

But Yao Yuan found many jobs in Shanghai and was not satisfied. He looked down on small companies, and he couldn’t afford big companies.

In this way, Yao Yuan never found a job that met his expectations, his self-confidence was seriously frustrated, and his spirit became more and more decadent.

Later, Yao Yuan had no money to eat, no money to pay the rent, and dared not face his family, so he became a street beggar.

It wasn’t until 12 years later that the police found Yao Yuan in an abandoned building. He was already delirious and didn’t even know his parents.

It is not difficult to find that Yao Yuan’s tragedy is not that he does not work hard, but that he has too high expectations of himself, and finally cannot accept the gap in reality.

Many times, people with habitually high expectations have a hard time. They either drive themselves crazy or drive the people around them crazy.

Some time ago, there was another piece of news that also caused heated discussions.

Some parents expect their daughter to be admitted to the civil service and live a stable life in the future, so after the daughter graduated from university, the parents did not let her daughter find a job, but only let her concentrate on preparing for the exam.

But my daughter failed the exam several times. She felt that she was not a civil servant and wanted to find an ordinary job.

The parents strongly disagreed and forced their daughter to take the exam for five consecutive years. As a result, the daughter not only failed the exam, but also had no work experience.

What is even more tragic is that due to repeated blows from failing the exams and years of persecution from her parents, her daughter was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Shakespeare said: “All expectation is the root of all spiritual pain.”

Everything in the world is accidental, and disappointment is the norm.

Whether it’s a child, a partner, or anyone else, no one will live up to your expectations.

Likewise, you cannot live with expectations, which point to the future, but live in the present.

If you expect too much from life, you will push yourself into a corner and plant the seeds of sorrow.


the nature of high expectations,

overly idealized

In psychology, there is a formula for calculating happiness:

Happiness = goal achievement value ÷ goal expectation value

When people’s goal realization value is fixed, the higher the expected value, the lower the happiness value.

And the reason why people are still clinging to high expectations is because most people live in fantasy, not reality.

Writer Liu Yong told such a story.

After Xiaoying and her husband got married, she always hoped that her husband would hold a grand birthday party for her, so that she could have a good time in front of her colleagues and relatives.

On her birthday, Xiaoying looked forward to it with great interest, thinking that her husband would prepare a surprise in advance.

But when Xiaoying was about to get off work, her husband didn’t bring a gift, not even a message.

Xiaoying was extremely disappointed, thinking that her husband did not value her, so she burst into tears in the office.

Xiaoying didn’t know that her husband was already so busy dealing with the heavy work that day that he had already forgotten about his birthday.

My colleague Sister Tang heard Xiaoying’s crying, and when she stepped forward to comfort her, she learned that it was Xiaoying’s birthday, so she invited her to a sumptuous dinner.

Xiaoying was moved by Sister Tang, and since then she has regarded Sister Tang as a confidant, and told Sister Tang all her troubles and secrets.

Until one day, the leader suddenly called Xiaoying to the office, and then criticized her face to face.

After listening in a daze, Xiaoying realized that it was Sister Tang who reported her negligence at work to the leader.

It turned out that Sister Tang never regarded Xiaoying as a friend, but just took pity on her and used her.

After Xiaoying was betrayed by Sister Tang, she didn’t dare to trust others for a long time, closed herself and almost became depressed.

Zheng Yuanjie, the king of fairy tales, once said: “Putting hope on others means leaving disappointment to yourself.”

If there is no excessive expectation, there will be no unbearable grief.

In reality, everyone has their own helplessness, which is also mixed with the darkness of human nature.

Thinking about the bright side of everything is a manifestation of excessive idealization.

Destiny loves to tease people the most, and the price of lack of sobriety and reason is being slapped by reality time and time again.

To live in this world, we must understand:

Expectations are as unfathomable as the starry sky. No one knows whether the stars are twinkling or calling for help. Only by exploring and approaching step by step can we see the truth of life clearly without the filter of dreams.


Sobriety in adults:

Lower your expectations and maximize your motivation

I watched the TV series “To a Windy Place” before, and I really appreciate Xie Zhiyao in the play.

Xie Zhiyao gave up his high-paying job in an investment bank in Beijing and returned to his hometown of Yunmiao Village to start a business and develop tourism.

It stands to reason that when college students return to their hometowns to start a business, they generally have high expectations and want to make outstanding achievements.

But Xie Zhiyao is different. He only hopes to create more employment opportunities, so that the villagers don’t have to go out to work, and there will be fewer left-behind children like him.

Xie Zhiyao successively borrowed money to invest in coffee shops, tie-dye workshops, racecourses, etc., but they were barely able to balance their expenses.

Fortunately, Xie Zhiyao didn’t have high expectations, so his mind was very peaceful. He once joked:

“We have a house and land in our hometown, and the expenses are not big. Even if we don’t do anything, we can earn dozens of dollars a day with grandma, which is enough for the family to eat and drink.”

Although Xie Zhiyao said so, he never slackened in his actions. In order to draw resources for the village, he ran back and forth every day.

He also cooperated with the village committee to shoot a promotional video for Yunmiao Village, and privately sent it to some travel bloggers, inviting them to visit Yunmiao Village.

Sure enough, after seeing the promotional video, a famous traveler came to the village to shoot a series of videos and posted them on the Internet, which made Yunmiao Village popular, and tourists came to check in one after another.

Xie Zhiyao is like this. He doesn’t have too many extravagant expectations, but he can always use his high motivation to get unexpected surprises.

Just like when he met Xu Hongdou, a girl he liked, he knew that Xu Hongdou was a tourist and would leave sooner or later, so he didn’t dare to have expectations, and only took care of Xu Hongdou sincerely.

When Xu Hongdou was about to leave, Xie Zhiyao didn’t expect Xu Hongdou to stay, he didn’t even say a word to persuade her to stay, but only planned in his heart to visit Xu Hongdou’s city more in the future.

But it was Xie Zhiyao’s non-demanding and non-binding attitude that completely moved Xu Hongdou, and finally Xu Hongdou came to Yunmiao Village to develop, and the two got together smoothly.

The writer Krylov once said:

“Reality is this bank, ideal is the other bank, separated by a turbulent river, and action is a bridge over the river.”

Life is wonderful, the more idealistic you are, the easier it is to be disappointed; the more normal you are, the easier it is to obtain.

When you let go of illusory extravagant hopes and put your energy into the current actions, you will have the opportunity to break through the barriers of reality.

The sobriety that adults should have is: lower expectations and maximize motivation.

Keep your feet on the ground and fix the road under your feet, and the ending will send you blessings.


I like this saying very much: “It is better to chase the wind than to wait for the wind to come.”

Everyone has more or less good expectations, but expectations are just expectations, like the wind that does not know when it will come, uncertain.

Instead of anxiously waiting for the breeze to come, it is better to go away with a smile on your face.

Hold the initiative in your own hands, work hard for the cause, and follow the fate for the result.

Life is a long journey, and the secret of happiness lies not in the final outcome, but in the process of moving forward and the mood along the way.

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