Much of this, it is proposed,is because ambition dies, and acceptance is born. We realize we're never going to make it big; we accept that fact; our expectations are lowered, meaning our life is more apt to meet those expectations. Met expectations=happiness.
Reminds me of the time I got a new boss. He had no experience in Marketing and yet was temporarily managing my team...Product Management and Product Marketing. I delivered this awesome presentation on all the phases of Marketing (Inbound Product Management, Outbound Product Marketing, Marketing Communications, etc.)...and where we were performing well, and where we were unable to deliver everything we should. Of course I was trying to make him see how understaffed we were, and the impact it was having on our ability to perform. I also tried to make the point that ambitious, talented people get quite demoralized if they feel they cannot get their job done. It's not a good environment.
I'll never forget his response: Happiness is all about meeting expectations. Why don't you lower your expectations of what you need to deliver?
I responded: If you could just talk to executive management and get their agreement that we can deliver less than everything i've outlined, that would be really great. Absolutely.
Yeah, that never happened.
But I digress.
Medical lessons also reminded me that the nation of Bhutan measures something they call Gross National Happiness (GNH). That link leads to the official Bhutanese site about their GNH index. It's really kind of fascinating, outlining their methodology, among other wonky things.
Funny, I don't see anything about "lowering expectations" as the path to higher GNH. Looks like they list a whole bunch of other stuff like education, good governance, health, etc.
So which is it?
What makes you happy?