Yeeeeey situation!

yeeeeeey

The above happiness model is my justifications to the famous quote “happiness is reality minus (or divided by) expectations” and its simple conclusion “to increase the happiness one should improve the reality and/or decrease her expectations”. I have found it very practical in the last five years of my life and by applying that I feel relatively happy most of the time.

To make it concrete I will look into my immigration example. I was unhappy when I was in my origin country. I tried to improve my reality to some extent. But after a while that I was still unhappy I found I cannot improve the reality anymore. The reality was a huge society, a complicated culture and my expectations didn’t fit to that reality (even decreased version of expectations). So I had two options. Either I should stay and decrease my expectations even more (which would kill my motivations and dreams), or changing the reality in term of changing my country. I chose the latter and it increased my happiness a lot.

But it was not all the story; as an immigrant integrating to the new society was not easy and it could affect my happiness. To increase my happiness I again started applying above model: I tried to and still am trying to improve my reality by learning my new country cultural aspects (I exposed myself to new taste of music, new taste of foods, drinks, new cultural norms, new language, new people, etc.) and in the same time I’m trying to decrease my expectations by accepting some facts and limitations: I cannot change the long winter (as a reality), I should accept it and instead try to learn ski to enjoy the long winter. I cannot change the people reluctance to be friend with me (a reality), instead I should be patient (decrease my expectations) and try to make them realized I can be a valuable friend for them (and it has worked to some extent).

Well, I think besides the society we are living, this model is applicable to most of other situations in our life too: our relationship with our partner or our parents or our children, our friendships, our job, etc. For example I have found that I cannot change the reality of my parents being conservative and traditional. I should accept that they are different human beings with different desires. To increase the happiness in my relationship with my parents, what I should do instead is to change the reality of my dependency to them and in the same time to decrease my expectations.

P.S: This model appreciates the dreamers and adventurous (but still realistic) people since they try to improve or change the reality (when it is possible). But being an idealistic is a source of unhappiness according to this model, because the only things it does is increasing the expectations.

Two related and highly recommend articles:

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/world-views/do-you-want-a-meaningful-life-or-a-happy-one/

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