Lessons from Encore Effect
Reevaluation of your priorities

Realistic expectations

-by Karthik Gurumurthy

The wisest way to live is to choose to enjoy what is actually available to you right now, right here. We learn to see the world of abundance, not limits, through training our minds. Whenever we become attached to the outcome, an end result, that we have preconceived, we deprive ourselves of experiencing joy. We have to choose not to be sad about what we don't have but to be glad with what we have.

When we accept reality- not fixating on how we wish things to be- we will be less disappointed in ourselves, in others, and in life in general. It is a good idea to regularly give ourselves a reality check to determine if our circumstances or expectations conform to the truth. When we gladly face the true, the real, the actual, we're able to let go of the myth, and the unrealistic. Why should we expect more than is literally possible? None of us embraces failure, but we often set ourselves up for disappointment when we ask or expect more than is realistic.When we focus on playing the best game we can, win or lose, this is our personal victory.

 A recent study showed that Olympic Athletes who only focus on being victorious, being number one, winning the Gold medal, are depressed when they win the silver or bronze prize.  If we are too tough a task master, we are unable to find pleasure in how well we are doing. A well-lived life is not about winning or losing, but about playing the game, doing our best learning from the process, and accepting that there is grace and dignity in losing you.

Many respected philosophers believe it is important for us to discover and come to grips with our limitations, with what we cannot do.  Who is it that once made the brilliant remark, "You have to choose to sail according to the wind"? We are all capable of an enormous amount of good, but in our lifetime, we have limitations- we can't be good at everything, nor are we going to have everything happen just the way we wish. Expect the unexpected. Things will happen. They will catch us off guard unless we are prepared. When we have  a contingency plan in place, we don't need to panic when the unknown becomes known. The author of the famous Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr, helps us to keep things in perspective: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." A realistic attitude frees us to work hard to change the things we can.



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