Before you judge & dismiss this post as, “Not for me”, please hear my argument.
I am not asking you to be happy with your Chinese-mobile/ 8-year laptop and accept your 1bhk kingdom in the name of lowered expectations.
Neither am I asking you to wear false-skin and live a chicken’s life when you are actually born as an elephant (now that I close my eyes and read it, its difficult not to imagine what it’d actually look like!)
Neither am I asking you to stop giving up on your childhood dream of having ‘a burning hot girlfriend you could proudly walk around with‘ and instead settle for the colony-nerd (you dont deserve her! nerds actually are more loyal, committed and caring!)
But lowering your expectations – you must! There is a gulf of difference between “standards” and “expectations”
In this world of superficiality; the norm is to appear confident, sound superior, brag your extra-ordinary passions and make your dad-funded startup appear like the next-best-thing. These norms are created by the internet wave, social media and generally high level of expectations.
Today if you are not posting your coolest work-updates on Facebook, you are living a mundane life. If your Instagram isn’t filled with unenviable vacation pictures or food-shots (loaded with calories), then you are not living – you’re merely existing. If your watsapp/wechat doesn’t have a status update every other day or your tweets have less than 10-hearts; sorry bud, you are not cool.
Sadly the level of expectations is higher than ever before! A generation or so earlier, it was okay to be normal. Now, normal is the new low. Yes, you are at your lowest end of the ebb if you are participating, but not winning.
Facebook is a battle my friend – you are “playing” it to win it. We are all posing our happy faces, happy content on social media because it is a game we are playing against our 182-friends and 765-acquaintances who also have a profile there.
Disagree? I give you more…
“Sharmaji ka beta” memes is the best satirical take on the level-of-expectations to our generation.
- He is the biggest enemies of children of India.
- He scores 90% in school.
- He wins debate competitions over “Toilets in India” in college.
- He earns 25-lac p.a. in his first job.
- He touches elder’s feet even when they are in a radius of 600 meters.
- He marries a sati-savitri bahu, who also behaves like him (actually no – all bahus are vamps)
- Ever since Kohli married Anushka; “Sharmaji ka damaad” is enviable too!
- Basically, he is this –
Back to the question… Can we all be like him? No we couldn’t!
Better question, do we all want to be like him? umm, no but we wouldn’t mind…
And thats where my theory starts. “We wouldn’t mind” starts out of this unsaid desire ingrained in all of us to be the “ideal” one. Blame it on your parents, on your peers, on your self-expectations, on society, on 2018 – whoever. But this level of expectations is the actual culprit.
Keep your expectations lower is a life-style/ thought-style where you realise that the world is organised around orbits. If there are 10-orbits where each orbit represents your social & financial status; and you are on orbit no.4; then be happy where you are. Do not aspire to go to orbit 5 or 6 or 7. Okay even if you do, Do Not aspire to be at 9 or 10.
Divide the people around you into these orbits. See which orbit you currently place yourself at. Then decide where you want to be, in a perfectly reasonable, easily attainable and most importantly; sustainable sense of the word.
Confused? Don’t worry. Read on…
Having said that, N.S. Sidhu once said, “The biggest room in this world – is the room for improvement!” Oh how I would have loved to salute him and to kiss him ( I am not gay btw) if I was there when he spoke those magic words.
This truism added with Lowering your expectations, makes a potent mix. Keep striving for improvement – for that is a process, a non-tangible one yet a very real standard to live upto.
So if I am making 100-grands a month, and I am unhappy with it; I must keep my expectations to 150 or 200-grands (reasonable, attainable & sustainable) and then put a full-stop to it. From there on, I shouldn’t expect anything more else I’d be the next “Sharmaji ka beta“. But keep chasing improvement!
If only life could follow my dictation…