In 2003, I wrote a New Years column wherein I resolved, among other things, to remember where I parked at the mall, to carry empty coffee cups into the house from the car, and to close the kitchen drawer in front of me when cooking. I have never succeeded in keeping even these minimal resolutions.
In 2010, I changed tack. I wrote, “Now I’m wiser than in 2003, being seven years older. ‘Nothing creates more unhappiness than failed expectations,’ says Deepak Chopra. And so I’m resolving not to expect to do any better this year. That way, if I fail yet again by spilling sugar in my kitchen drawer, accumulating six coffee cups in my car, and wandering lonely like a cloud in the Target parking lot, I won’t create more unhappiness for myself, because I had no expectations. If I succeed in not expecting to do any better, I’ve won!”
In 2017, I resolve to continue the clearest and surest path of success: reducing expectations. In addition, I’m going to try more positivity, basing my resolutions on what I’ll do, rather than what I won’t do.That’s healthy, right? Here’s my list so far: I’m going to pet my dog a lot and talk about her ad nauseam, read, consume sugar, drink coffee, watch TV, and stay up too late. Also leave my clothes lying around and neglect the dishes.
I also resolve to spend time every day looking for my reading glasses.
In order to achieve anything, you have to set realistic goals.
It all sounds so familiar. There must be some universal law governing these things, like iron filings following a magnetic field. One person here couldn’t find his car and had to catch a taxi home. The family drove him back and found the car, and when he saw it he cried out, “But I parked it next to a big four-wheel drive!” Which reminds me, I must clean the kitchen drawer.
In addition to evoking a smile this post also reminded me of why I tacked up a 24 point message on bulletin boards at work and home more than 10 years ago. It’s still there: GIVE UP ALL EXPECTATIONS. This became my motto when a shocking and personally devastating event shattered my life and rendered me hopeless, at least for a time. The motto still serves me well, and proves the validity of Deepak Chopra’s statement. Now, whatever unhappiness I may feel is at least not caused by the dreaded failed expectations.
Take it! It’s free!
Mind if I borrow your list?
thanks for the laugh! happy new year!