My friend from FFNow gave me a very nice quote:
“How happy a man is, is not by how much he has, but how little he needs”
I thought that is largely true. It translates back to the following:
Reality is something you can control to a certain extend but part of it is up in the air.
Expectations on the other hand can be controlled. Lower it and anything unexpectedly more will provide more joy.
Here is a good example that went viral recently of a Dad showing extreme happiness on finding out his son got a C for Math. Right expectations can be pretty amazing. Had he expect an A, we won’t have such a nice reaction:
When low expectations are actually rather high
There are much dissatisfaction in many folks when they don’t realize that the expectations are rather lofty:
- You pick up an investment book, feel so empowered to take control of your finances, and starts projecting that your target per year for your investments is 15% per annum. The reality is that you are bloody average, and an average return is only closer to 7%, and that is assuming there is no cost friction. The reality is that you are going to end up with 3-4% returns and that will make you very sad
- Due to your financial literacy enrichment, you strive for a target of saving 1 mil by the age of 35 years old. The reality is that your low earnings capability only allows you to save 400 per month and that you have to take a lot of risk for you to hit 1 mil at that age. The thought of not meeting your goals make you very sad
- My colleague once told me of her close friend who have a very low expectation of the ideal man for her: Earns greater than 4000, have a car and a condo, yearly able to bring the family on a holiday and buys her a branded bag for her annual birthday. The reality is that this is achievable, but not many men will fit that criteria or be willing to do something like that and she ends up feeling sad not meeting her Mr Right
My good friend used to tell me some folks can only rationalize their actions are correct when they are incapable of logically reflect whether they are right or wrong, or in this case whether their expectations are logically low.
And the sooner you realize it’s a futile attempt to convince the better for your sanity.
Probably another old viral video, unfortunately only in Chinese but illustrating how destructive rationalization can become:
So have you met or heard folks who think their expectations are low when in reality its not?