As someone who is very future-focused and likes to visualise exactly how things will be, I often end up feeling disappointed when a situation or environment doesn’t match up to how I’d imagined. This also means I turn down opportunities or don’t take action for fear of things not panning out the way I want.
When I know I need to accept a situation, let go of control, appreciate the present or take action without fear of making the ‘wrong’ choice, I always come back to these words of wisdom:
“We don’t feel happy or unhappy because of the events that take place in our lives. We feel happy or unhappy because of a comparison our mind makes between the events that take place and our expectation of how life should be.” Mo Gawdat.
It is not our life situation or circumstances that make us happy or unhappy, it is the way we think about it. Mo’s outlook on life really helped to change my way of thinking.
His equation for happiness is:
Your happiness is greater than or equal to the difference between the events in your life and your expectations of how life should be.
A simple example would be if you expect it to rain today, you won’t be disappointed when it does. If you’re expecting a beautiful sunny day and it pours with rain, you would be disappointed. It’s not the rain itself that is capable of making you happy or unhappy, it is the rain compared to our expectation of how today will be.