Updated: Sep 6
I have visited Dubai last week, and I was very disappointed. After my expectations not being met I was feeling down and betrayed by the marketing campaigns.
I don’t know if that was a problem with me but I wasn’t the only one that felt disappointed. I was expecting the exact product that the marketing campaigns promised but upon my arrival to that place, my excitement started dropping rapidly.
There was a feeling of fakeness about the city, the prices didn’t much with the quality of products, the hospitality was not so warm, the public transportation service was a pain in the ass and generally most of the famous places and attractions there didn’t met my expectations (except Burj Khalifa).
Of course that was logical because Dubai is a new city and has no culture or history yet. The fault is not on anyone but me and this is when I realized that having high expectations will most probably leave you disappointed.
Happiness is reality minus expectations as Elon Musk said and I cannot agree more on that statement. Being fully present without big expectations makes you happy, and from that point on, every little thing will add up to your happy state.
When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have. — Stephen Hawking
Expecting something takes you away from the present moment, and you cannot find happiness and satisfaction outside of it.
If we want to be happy and satisfied we should be living fully in the now, being focused on everything that is happening in front of us and not projecting to the future expecting something spectacular.
Spectacular things exist only in the present moment, and by not expecting something better to come, makes everything that comes better.
By not expecting something better to come makes everything that comes better.
Happiness comes as a byproduct when you live in the moment and don’t have expectations on anything or anyone. When you start practicing that, every little thing will be a bonus to your happy life.
Happiness is not addition but subtraction. The more you remove, the happier you’ll be. The more things or choices you have, indecision, confusion and anxiety will be in your mind. Being in the present moment removes all of those negative things and you are left with pure happiness.
This comes down to our goals as well. Aiming to high will most probably leave you disappointed, but when you just focus on the work that you have to do, and forget the destination that you want to reach, you will eventually be happy no matter where you end up being.
That does not mean that you’ll not achieve the big goal that you have in mind, but the exact opposite. When you detach yourself from that goal and just focus on the process on going there, it will be a lot easier to achieve it. That happens only when you remove expectations. Do you see the irony here? Expecting to achieve something big will make it difficult for you to achieve it unless you remove the expectation.
Expecting to achieve something big will make it difficult for you to achieve it unless you remove the expectation.
In other words, this is what being mindful is. If you are interested in spiritual practices, mindfulness in one of them. This is when you don’t have any expectations and you just engage on what’s in front of you, being fully in the present moment.
“Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment” — Jon Kabat Zinn
The best advice I can give you based on my personal experiences, is to live fully in the present moment. There’s something magical when you stop expecting and projecting into the future and become present.
All the beauty of life exists right now, in front of you, and maybe this is the reason that I left disappointed from my trip to Dubai. Probably I didn’t enjoy it because I was not in the present moment.
I was expecting something spectacular every time I was visiting a place. I was always projecting into the future, thinking about my next visit, where I’ll go next and what I’m going to do next instead of being present.
I can’t say that I regret going there, but the exact opposite. It taught me something very valuable. That place taught me that everything is beautiful and perfect if you are fully in the present moment. That place taught me that having no expectations makes every experience a bonus.
Bottom line is, remove all expectations if you want to be happy and stay fully present if you want to enjoy life more.
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