Photo of the Day: Lowering Expectations

Photography Books

I came across an interesting article today in the New York Times about why the Danes are the happiest people in the world. According to the article which quotes the Eurobarometer Survey, “More than two-thirds of Danes report being very satisfied with their lives.” The reason, they say, lies in one word, expectations.

Danes seem to know instinctively that expectations kill happiness, leaving the rest of us unhappy un-Danes to sweat it out on the “hedonic treadmill.” That’s what researchers call the tendency to constantly ratchet up our expectations, a sort of emotional inflation that devalues today’s accomplishments and robs us of all but the most fleeting contentment. If a B-plus grade made us happy last semester, it’ll take an A-minus to register the same satisfaction this semester, and so on until eventually, inevitably, we fail to reach the next bar and slip into despair.

The author couldn’t have said it better. Often, we expect too much from other people and set extremely high standards for ourselves that we end up unsatisfied, frustrated, and angry. Still, lowering expectations doesn’t mean we have to wallow in mediocrity. There’s a big, fat line there that’s impossible to miss.

Read the rest of the article here.

About this photo: I’ve been reading about photography again (real books!) and it’s helping me realize more and more why I love doing what I do.

~ by Sheila on July 21, 2009.

5 Responses to “Photo of the Day: Lowering Expectations”

  1. very nice and beautiful, i like it .

  2. Thanks!

  3. So true! 🙂

  4. very true. like the picture as well.
    as a matter of fact i keep telling the Bhagavad Gita phrase very often (had heard it in a movie).

  5. Hey Prashant, thanks for dropping by.

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