Thursday, 10 May 2012

Expectations vs Passion, Happiness and True Success

At a young age our curiosity towards everything is peaked and we are driven by the need to find out everything and experience it. From this inquisition about life, ambitions are discovered and through ambition our professional aspirations are determined. We learn to love and develop a passion for a particular activity that shapes into the ideal job we yearn to pursue as we become adults.

Sometimes these ambitions are as unrealistic as the dream to become superman in the future or some other profession born from hero worship, but these ambitions can also be quite realistic and develop into futuristic dreams. However, we all know that most times what we dream about and what we become in our adult lives are two different things.

The question is; are these choices regarding our future decisions driven by passion or expectations? 

Thrilled by your passion yet obligated to expectations

With passion we are driven by the love we have for whatever we do, which brings a sense of satisfaction to us as individuals. We work hard at our respective professions despite its challenges, because there is a specific delight in fulfilling our duties. Its completion fills us with a level of accomplishment which is a direct hit in our pursuit of happiness and success.

We smile at our accomplishments, get disappointed when we don’t quite attain what we set out to do, but continue despite these disappointments because it’s what we love. Our highs and lows are taken with stride as passion is the driving force in our plight, but this is not always the case. These dreams can be railroaded by the dreaded need to meet expectations, rather than striving to be accepted for who we are and what we want.

 Expectations on other hand, are standards set and are expected to be followed. It is usually driven by our fear of disappointing others and fueled by our constant need to be accepted. This stigma commonly practiced has lead to these questions being asked;

  • What is so wrong with pursuing what we want? 
  • Who are we if not ourselves? 
  • What is the purpose of meeting these expectations if we aren’t happy or fulfilled in the end? 
The truth  is that there is nothing wrong with pursuing your dreams, being ourselves is the only thing we should be and meeting expectations is meaningless without fulfillment in the end.

Your Happiness vs Expectation

It is understandable that the fear of failure in the eyes of those you are trying to please is real, but if they care about you as much as they say, then they should be more concerned about your happiness than demanding you live up to certain expectations or traditions. They should be more inclined to see you happy but in most cases the obligation to expectation seems more important.

Concentrating on expectation rather than exploring your passion will only lead to a life of regret on your part. I am sure you want to look back on your life and smile at all the things you have done, rather than focus on the things you let go of due to meeting expectations. It shouldn’t take the feeling of regret for you to realise that pursuing the things you are passionate about is more fulfilling than the obligation.

Self Acceptance, the key to true happiness

Your purpose in life will never be found if you are following the path of others instead of your own.  Gaining acceptance in life can only be accomplished when you first accept yourself. After this, then you can give the world a go at your personality, not the expected one but your own. What you feel, want or need, shouldn’t be subdued to fit into the beliefs and expectations of others.

Through self acceptance we learn to love and accept ourselves as we are and let it be known that we are not willing to sacrifice our true happiness to fulfill expectations.

 I am not sure about everyone but I believe that money and stature gained through your expected profession might seem like grand accomplishments at first, but it does not fill the void that is present due to lack of happiness.

The act of pretending to be someone you’re not due to expectations is not healthy and can lead to self destruction. In fact you lose so much of yourself in this continuous pretention that you miss out on true success, true happiness, fulfillment and peace of mind. All these things are worth more than meeting expectations.

Being you and doing your heart’s desire shouldn’t be looked upon as a crime or denial of bringing honour to your parentage. It doesn’t mean that you are not grateful or lessen how much you care. In the end you and your needs are also important, your passion should be explored and your happiness has to be a priority.

 So simply, be you, do your best and love yourself as u are, because exploring what your passionate about exceeds meeting expectations.


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