Happiness Equations

Someone once said this about goals,

”Aim at nothing and you will be sure to hit it.”

That’s a paraphrase from my memory. I did not look it up for attribution. 

The quote makes a good point. If you don’t have a goal in mind, a destination to reach, then any result will do. All outcomes are equally good if you haven’t bothered to select a specific outcome.

In practice, satisfaction in life is measured by how well we are doing at meeting implicit expectations. There is a mathematical formula that is descriptive of this phenomenon:

Happiness = Reality – Expectations

If true (and my experience has proven to me at least that it is), a  thoughtful look reveals that the only part of that equation in your direct control is the Expectations part. The more accepting you are of however Reality unfolds, without imposing any particular expectations on its unfolding, other than the expectation that it will unfold, the happier you will be.

Can we reconfigure the equation to get any different outcome? Let’s try. By the magic of algebra, solving for Reality, we have:

Reality = – Expectations – Happiness

This equation posits that Reality unfolds regardless of either your expectations or feelings about it.

And then we can also solve for Expectations, and we get:

Expectations = Reality – Happiness

This final look shows that Expectations are True (in the sense of accurate) when you accept what Is ( how Reality unfolds) and disregard how it makes you feel.

So, no matter how we slice it, you can guarantee un-Happiness by expecting to be Happy.

Happiness then, is a poor goal for one who expects it. The rejection of the expectation of Happiness as irrational is the surest way to experience it in Reality. You’re welcome.

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