​Keeping up those not-so-great expectations

Written by  on August 19, 2015 

I expected to be a mother at an improbable age, and I am.. And right now, we’re expecting to hear from our Contributor Faith Salie:

It’s tough to argue with science (or my spouse).

So, here’s my compromise: I resolve to expect less of others, but continue to expect the best of myself. I like to enter experiences counting on things working out delightfully, like a new restaurant, or marriage.

We all have certain expectations in life. I just don’t expect him to be so scientifically sound.

To clarify, scientists even came up with this nifty equation that can predict your happiness:

Simple, right?

I don’t want to have to learn to expect less to be happier. But still, anticipating the best is a hard habit to break.

Many of us enter a new year and combat the gloom of winter with positive thoughts of a sunny future. All Rights Reserved. I expected to find love after my divorce, and I did.

For more info:

But perhaps this is sheer luck, or hubris.

2015 CBS Interactive Inc. I always thought that sounded sad, but apparently he’s onto something.

More from Faith Salie:

And what do we do with our visualizations inspired by Oprah and Chopra?

My husband has long told me that he tries to go through life with NO expectations. Like, this is the year I’m going to read the entire Dickens oeuvre (starting here).

Researchers created a game in which people could choose to earn a guaranteed amount of money, or gamble to win (or lose) even more money.

Maybe you’re like me and have felt that expecting wonderful things has often summoned them into existence. Well, it turns out, scientists have discovered that the key to happiness might actually be having LOW expectations.

If you’re an optimist like me, this equation raises some important questions, like: Have we been sold a bill of goods about the power of positive thinking?

Brain scans confirmed this: Anyone who won more than she anticipated demonstrated some hot action in her striatum (the area of the brain associated with reward and expectations).

And it seems like it’s almost disrespectful to have low expectations of people (unless you’re talking about Congress, in which case it’s downright American).


University College London

While playing, the participants were repeatedly asked how happy they felt. They expressed significantly more happiness any time they gained a reward that exceeded their expectations

Max Lyons

Max Lyons

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Max Lyons

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