I am a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project. I read it during the middle of this year and it literally helped me turn my life around and got me out of a major funk. Gretchen is a born researcher-highlighter-note-taker-kind-of-gal, no wonder I fell in love with her.
With all this research under her belt she began by trying to decipher happiness from can we have more of it to ‘what is happiness’, she studied the greats and read all the research papers. Within her research she discovered a lot of contradiction while learning about happiness. For example she wanted to …
Free herself from envy and fear of the future, and live fully in the present moment – but not lose her ambition.
Lighten up and not take herself too seriously – but also to take herself more seriously.
This led me to thinking of my own contradictions that I am currently pondering, she says that each person’s happiness project would be uniquely tailored to the person they are, so each to their own. One contradiction I seem to have stumbled upon lately is trying to expect more from life yet less at the same time.
You see I feel that too often I walk around with negative self-talk within my head, I am selling myself short, not believing in my full capabilities or just in general putting myself down. This isn’t in any major way but I have come to accept the fact that I won’t get a good mark because I am not very good at this subject, I won’t be able to run any faster, because I am just not built that way. The issue with this thinking is that I am discovering that it is so limiting.
That is all, I am putting myself in a box, that I am unable to get out of. If I overheard a similar conversation between two friends that I have within my head, I would definitely be telling that girl she needs to have some brighter, more helpful friends, ones that don’t put her down. This girl
– who I am absolutely loving at the moment, says why not? Why not to everything
. Why don’t I deserve a good mark, why can’t I run faster?
If I only ever keep believing that the worst will happen then why would anything different happen. People who believe in life that everything is made out of energy and if we think something or manifest something within our own minds then we can attract that action to ourselves. You can either take this or leave it, but regardless nobody wants to be walking around expecting the worst. For starters if you think you’re not going to get that job interview you probably aren’t going to be putting much effort into it. Yet if you stride in their with confidence that says I deserve this job, I can do this, then why the heck shouldn’t your interviewer believe you.
So as you can see I have fully started to embrace the ‘why not’ attitude and making sure I shift my thinking a little to make sure I am expecting more from life. Yet there is a double-sided sword from this. Too often I fall into a very easy trap that gets me into trouble. I am sure there are lots of guys and gals out there (it could be more of a girl thing though) of people who have these crazy expectations that always fall short because life cannot be planned down to the T like it is in your head.
When this happens, when friends, family, or partners don’t live up to these expectations in your head, for a night to go perfectly, for them to receive the news in just the right way, or have the exact response you want them to have you know you are heading for trouble. Nobody can read your mind, and if you are putting crazy expectations in your head you are unfortunately going to end up feeling mad, lonely, upset, dejected.
So that is the newest contradiction I have found with life, of course there are plenty more lets face it life is riddled with black, white, grey, murky brown colours mixed together. It’s never clear cut and something can be seen from a multitude of different perspectives. But for right now I am working on expecting more from the universe but less from those around me.