Nothing in life is permanent. We are born, we grow old and we die. Each second of our life is different from the rest of the seconds. I suppose the main reason for our suffering is this impermanence. We get attached to “stuff” so much that we cannot handle once it changes.
Similarly, we get attached to expectations and we feel the pain when the expectations are not met. As normal human beings we all are bonded to our expectations deeply. “I love him so much, there is no doubt our marriage won’t work!” But, we all are really bad at predicting things, be it good or bad, we just cannot predict what lies next for us. From my personal experience, I feel that 95% of the things that we worry about don’t happen and the things that we should be worrying about but we simply don’t think about end up happening. Since we are so bad at predicting, our expectations usually don’t match the reality and we end up in vicious cycle of love and hate.
Say for example we are going for a job interview and we are expecting to get the job, we would be relieved or disappointed depending on whether we get the job or not. If you think about it, if we expect not to get the job in the first place (which can happen with most of the pessimistic people), we would be utterly surprised if we end up getting the job. So whatever we expect, be it good or bad, we can end up being happy or unhappy depending on the outcome.
Even though we all know that expectation is the root cause of most of the miseries, still we cannot detach ourselves from expecting. We look at happy marriages and we expect our marriage to be happy. We look at a rewarding job and we expect our job to be the same. And why only about other people, we look at our own past and expect similar situations in future to have the same outcome.
I don’t think there is anything wrong in expecting, we are humans and we are expected to have expectations. But it is an entirely different thing to get attached with the expectations. When you start taking expectations too emotionally, that is when you start suffering.
It’s not easy to break the circle of right and wrong and to stop expecting. But in order to be happy in life, we all need to take a step back from our expectations. Stop tossing yourself in this circle of love and hate and stop judging things that happen around you. When you start living in the moment, you will eventually realize that life is not about getting right or wrong outcomes, things just happen differently every time and for everyone. Life is unpredictable, and that is what the beauty of life is. Savor this beauty and be prepared for everything, trust me you will be very happy for the rest of your life!