Alice Walker said it best in a poem, “Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.” I found this formula that puts her words into action to help us live a life that is content:
The best way to find present and future happiness is to learn to identify the rules that are attached to our expectations so we can modify them. This simple formula is the key to living a pleasant life. Reality + or – Expectations = positive or negative Satisfaction. When our expectations are greater than the reality of a situation, we are disappointed, dissatisfied, or unhappy. (R-E=-S) Satisfaction grows as expectations diminish. When our expectations of a situation (reality) are low and the reality exceeds them, we feel good. (R-E=+S)
Try applying this formula the next time you feel disappointment. What can you do to change your perception of the world to increase your satisfaction? So often life is about what we perceive it to be. Try letting go of your expectations, not only of yourself, but also of others. Give yourself permission to rest a little more, really relax into savasana, take 2 minutes to breathe before entering your house. Use these little moments to let go of your expectations of others, yourself and life’s situations. After all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
(The above formula is from a favorite book of mine called “Forgiveness: the Path to Happiness” by Sandra Summerfield Kozak. It is full of tidbits of wisdom like this that open your mind to a happier life.)