Monthly Archives: January 2012

Disappointment and Happiness

Yes, you hold your happiness in your own hands. I’m reading Chip Conley’s Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness and Success and was struck by this: Disappointment = Expectations – Reality. He quotes Alexander Pope.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.


Sometimes, it’s worthwhile to remember that life does not always work out exactly as we might expect. Sometimes, altering our expectations can be a good thing. Conley suggests, as an alternative, altering our beliefs about reality. Lincoln, he reminds us, led a life full of disappointments and lowered expectations. He became pragmatic about outcomes. He continued to set lofty goals and moved on to the next if he did not achieve the original goal.

I think, this year, I’m going to continue to aim high, periodically evaluate my version of reality and, from time to time, adjust the target a bit.