I’m Always Hoping for More
When we are expecting more or comparing what we have to what we could have, it is possible that we will not completely appreciate what we have. An experiment conducted by the University of California indicated that participants who were exposed to a subliminal recall of money spent less time enjoying a chocolate bar and expressed less satisfaction of the experience than other subjects who were not reminded of wealth.
This can serve as a reminder to all of us to attempt to relish our lives a little more, and perhaps to avoid reminding ourselves of what we don’t have as much. This, on the other hand, serves as a reminder of how easy it is to allow our thoughts to interfere with our appreciation of what we truly have.
How many times have we been so preoccupied with obtaining something we want that we failed to appreciate what we already had? In the face of so many people who have less than we do, how often do our aspirations for great things lead us to believe that what we have isn’t actually all that great?
The difference between expectations and reality
Finally, when we expect more than what is realistically possible in a given situation, our expectations can get the better of us. Many of us expect our romantic relationships to live up to what we see in romance films, our careers to be idealized versions of what we had as children, and even our lives to measure up to what we see on social media platforms such as Instagram.
It is common for our expectations to cause tremendous tension when they do not match the reality. Social media can play a role in this, too: We compare our own worst moments (those that are not shareable online) with others’ finest moments, which are typically filtered to appear ideal. It’s possible that we’re not even aware of the mismatched comparison.
Depending on what we believe other people have, our expectations for our lives may be unreasonable and slanted in our favor. Because we have a restricted perspective on other people’s life, we cannot compare them to our own.
This could explain why those who spend more time on social media tend to be unhappier than those who do not.
It’s critical to take a closer look at how your expectations compare to reality and how your mood is influenced as a result of this comparison. Here are some suggestions for getting started in a constructive way.
In any new scenario, ask yourself what you expect to happen and what you want to happen. Consider whether your expectations should be set in this manner. What is the source of these expectations, and are they attainable in the real world? When you are dissatisfied, attempt to consider whether your expectations were realistically high in the first place. Make a plan for how you’ll get what you desire the next time around.) If not, think about how to manage your expectations and what you can do to do so.)
Managing Expectations is a skill
In order to break free from the expectations vs. reality trap, you must first become aware of the situation at hand. Being conscious of what you are anticipating is an excellent first step. It’s also a good idea to become aware of what you “should” be expecting in advance.
When you discover that what is happening is not what you had anticipated, actively seek out the positive aspects of what you are experiencing. It’s possible that after you get over your disappointment, you’ll discover that you’ve acquired something you didn’t realize you needed. This encourages you to be more appreciative of what you already have in your life.
You should be mindful of this while you are viewing other people’s social media posts and deciding whether or not you wish to emulate their lifestyles. You should be clear about the direction you want things to move in but remember that what you see on the outside is not always indicative of what others are experiencing on the inside.
It’s possible that you’re overestimating how happy you’ll be after you get what you’re aiming for. For example, if you work a job you despise in order to accumulate enough money to purchase an expensive automobile or a great wardrobe, you may find that your enjoyment is not very long-lived.
Take time to appreciate what you have
It’s perfectly acceptable to desire more but appreciating what you already have will allow you to enjoy life to its fullest. Taking time to appreciate what you have is a wonderful approach to increase the amount of happiness you have in your life.
Don’t berate yourself for feeling disappointed; instead, consider comparing yourself to those who have less, not more, material possessions. Or, even better, try not to compare yourself to others on a general level. The only person with whom you should be in competition is yourself.
The need for more might ultimately motivate you to work your hardest and perform at your highest level. While it can be beneficial, it can also be detrimental, particularly when you expect things to come more easily than they do or in a different way than they do. Unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of disappointment and tension, therefore becoming more aware of your expectations and how they affect your feelings toward your own reality can help you avoid these feelings.