Humans are emotional beings. They make mistakes and they get hurt. So ever wondered what causes the hurt and the pain? It's because things didn't go the way we expected. These expectations are the root of most of our problems. You expect your partner to be obedient to you, but when it does not happen, you get upset. You expect your teacher to give you an 'A', you get an 'E' and now you're smoking cigarettes because you are sad. You want your boss to be friendly to you, but he's a dick so you spend the whole night drinking. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Expectation Is The Root Of All Heartaches
— William Shakespeare
Now think there's a man and he has a football. He kicks it up, and then he cries about the ball hitting his skull. You would say that he's an idiot, right? This is similar to what we all do. You keep expectations, which then decides how you feel after that. It's literally like providing an emotional remote control to the other person. They other may play with your emotions as he desires and you're now a puppet - a beautiful one, I assume. This needs to stop.
So how do we stop expecting? Here are two ways to detach yourself from the materialistic world:
• Start Giving rather than Taking
Usually, when we do anything, we expect something in return. When we are respect someone, we expect the other person to be respectful. Even when we donate, we want people to know how big of a heart you have. Although it isn't morally wrong. Who does not want respect and fame? But there is a downfall to it. Our peace of mind becomes dependent on the behaviour we expect from them. If they respect back, we're happy and if they don't, we get hurt. So what we need to do is getting into the habit of doing things without expecting anything in return. Not donating because we want respect, donating because it makes you feel better. Not respecting people so that they respect you back, respecting them because it's your nature and you like respecting people. That's how you take your remote control in your own hands. Now, your mood does not depend on how the other person reacts, instead it is now controlled by you and you alone.
The Takers May Eat Better, But The Givers Sleep Better
In India, a practice of 'Gupt Daan' (Secret Donation) is practiced. It involves donating an organisation, without getting your name written in the recipts and without anyone knowing.
You Can Claim Your Right On The Work But Not On The Results
— Bhagwad Geeta
When you don't let others control you, your life is merrier and the world becomes a better place to live.
• Focus On Yourself
There are 24 hours in a day. And you still wish for more to complete your daily tasks. And still you find time for overthinking stuffs, and making huge expectations from people.
Think about a scenario. You're a job employee and you're on your way to your office. The car behind you is honking repeatedly so you let the car overtake you. Now that car driver starts driving slow. You blow the horn but he still keeps driving in the middle of the road and you can't overtake. You start shouting from behind, "You moron, I'm getting late for my job. Move aside". And the car moves to a corner. Now you make him stop his car and you see that a newbie is driving and his father is sitting on the other seat. You start lecturing the child on how to drive and tells the man to drive instead of the boy. The boy wanted to say something, but you didn't let him. In the end, he tells you that his father is critically ill and no one else was at home, so he was driving him to the hospital. You feel guilty, say sorry to him and reach your office. Your boss sees you coming and scolds you for getting late. Now you feel guilty about the road incident and pissed off due to your boss. Now you can't focus at work, and your day is ruined.
Now consider another situation. A man is driving to your office. A car honks and he lets it overtake him. Now the driver is driving in the middle and not letting him overtake. He wants to yell at him, but he knows that he has better things to do than messing around with people. So he drives slow and reaches the office on time. His boss still frowns at him, but he does not care because he is way too determined and he knows that messing with the boss would waste his precious time. He works productively and his day goes smoothly.
Which one was better? Obviously the second one. Why because he focused on himself and did not let anybody else control his emotions. And here's the interesting part - The second person was a cancer patient who knew he didn't had long to live. So he knew he couldn't waste time in stupid things. Now I don't advise you to go get cancer, but I do advise you to have a mentality like that cancer patient. It will help a lot to keep you at peace.
Live Like There's No Tomorrow
I hope this information helps you to get better at life. Let me know your experiences in the comments.
© 2021 Tushar Swami