Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. - (Mark Twain and me)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its a common sense that happiness out of doing
something is affected by the expectation of doing it, prior to actually doing it.
But how much is the expectation contributing to the actual happiness than the actual 'thing' itself?
I think expectation plays an even bigger role(not just a small role) than the act itself.

For eg, a person maybe thinking that he'll be happy if he gets a new car or a house. But after he gets that, the happiness he gets out of it was probably dictated *more* by the expectations and perceived notions prior to getting the car than the actual happiness derived out of its possession. Hence the happiness will last only shorter and probably cause disappointments caused due to expectations.

So, key to happiness is to play with your expectations. (this was probably obvious but we might have underestimated the role of expectations in happiness). Going by this I think, people who do a lot of planning ahead or organized could be less happy in general.

We could try to play with expectations slowly. For eg, when choosing a movie, don't try to chose a movie based on reviews,plot or asking friends. Most of the times, when you hear lot of good things about the movie you are surely not going to like it as much if you had chosen the movie by random. If you see movies at random, you will also end up with a lot of bad ones which may make you appreciate the good movies even better, which brings up another theory that, in order to be happy u also have to be (or expect) sad many times.

i see your point, but i think there's more to it.

planning for a trip is probably the most enjoyable thing I do and I enjoy the trips too. probably more bcos there is my creativity (?!) involved in the itinerary.

some of the movies that have blown me away are ones which I didn't know they existed until i found them on netflix. so I did choose the movie, knew the plot summary or atleast the teaser and still thoroughly enjoyed it.

so something else is at play. expectations do generate happiness. but i guess basing those expectations on others likes and dislikes, may lead to disappointments.

besides in a movie or a trip, there is no buyer's remorse. i mean there is no big decision involved. you can easily check out the alternative later. but in a car there is a big, somewhat irreversible decision involved.

curiously, i do regret watching a bad movie in a film festival bcos I wud have chosen it over something else playing simultaneously.
True, half the fun in something is in expecting it. I still remember the happiness of going to an exhibition as a kid. More than the sights and sounds and experience of the exhibition, it was the expectation built up over a period of a week or two, all the planning done with cousins, all the fervent prayers for a bright and clear day and no-other-commitments-day for parents that gave more thrills to the entire experience. The happiness after owning a car is definitely different from the happiness coming out of expectation. They are two different dimensions. So I'm not sure if comparing them is a right thing.
I probably gave a wrong example of movie to address the point(although still I think theres some truth to it).

In case of movies or trips, if planning is enjoyable then its a different story, that by itself is a different act. This maybe true with car also or in general shopping.

I guess I wanted to say was there should be no happiness associated with an expectation, that will give the true happiness of the act, which will help us find what we are truly happy about than imposing false expectations.
Since as you guys said you are happy with the expectation of the act to happen, then the happiness out of the act is clearly contributing to the overall happiness(and maybe more) in the end which maybe good for some things.
"which maybe good for some things"
but will lead you into false beliefs about yourself and may distract or worse prevent you to find what you are truly happy about.
I have to think more on this myself anyway.
Enna machi, thaani adichurkaya? oru thaathuvame paesara?
thani adika arambicha thaana, thathuvam pesunuma?
that's what I've learnt from watching tamil movies machi :)
each time i used to read smaller content which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading now.

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