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If you want to find peace, lower your expectations?

The blog article A Beautiful Method to Find Peace of Mind caught my attention this morning. Who couldn’t stand to learn a new tactic for finding peace of mind? After reading it, I only partially agree with the writer’s approach.

A small excerpt from the article:
“See, the cause of our stress, anger and irritation is that things don’t go the way we like, the way we expect them to…And so the solution is simple: expect things to go wrong…”

What I disagree with:
You can’t contend with unexpected difficulties, so instead lower your expectations so you don’t have to cope with disappointment? To me, it seems more prudent to be in control of your reactions to negative/disappointing situations than to give yourself the cushion of low expectations.

It also strikes me as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Expect someone to fail, they sense your lack of faith in their abilities and probably will. Yes, things will go wrong and it is naive to expect everything to go your way 100% of the time. I still find that I’m happier preparing for the worst, but expecting the best.

What I agree with:
I strongly advocate for making the most of every circumstance and viewing challenges as “adventures.” In fact, as a child growing up in a sometimes turbulent household, I had plenty of adventures. For example, while separated my Dad once “borrowed” my Mom’s car and we had to walk everywhere for an entire weekend. I was 10, my sister 7. Instead of being outwardly angry and miserable, my Mom made it a great weekend. We walked to places that were exciting for kids – Dairy Queen, the park, etc. Some of these adventures became memories I’ll always cherish, none of which would have been possible if my Mother’s reactions had been different. Did my Mom go into that day expecting her car to be stolen? I like to think not, but she handled it gracefully.

What do you prefer? To expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised, or to maintain high expectations and suffer disappointment?

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