When we mention equations there are often a lot of raised eyebrows in the audience, however, occasionally an equation comes along that is helpful with our day-to-day life and worth taking note of:
DISAPPOINTMENT = EXPECTATIONS - REALITY
If you throw around a few variables we get an idea of how this equation works. Let’s presume that for most people the aim is to minimise disappointment. This is best achieved when we strive to minimise our expectations. If our expectations match our current reality then our disappointment score would be zero. Furthermore if our reality was actually a lot better than we were expecting then disappointment decreases its hold on our existence. The main time we get submerged in large amounts of disappointment is when we are expecting something to go one way but for some reason or another, we find that in reality, this didn’t happen.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we should always expect the worst. It’s important to recognise that the aim of the above is not to become a pessimist. Rather, the aim is simply to loosen our hold on a designated outcome. That also doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for great things or have aspirations for the future but the formula dictates that we shouldn’t get too fixed in our thinking and glued to a future which as we all now recognise, is difficult to predict.
So to reiterate if you want to maximise your happiness scores, decrease your assumptions and it will go someway to helping avoid that sensation of disappointment.