One Change That Will Eliminate 90% of Your Misery


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Study after study points to unmet expectations as the #1 cause of unhappiness. We have a tendency to overshoot. We look at the world through unrealistic rose-colored lenses. We expect too much of others. We expect good outcomes or outcomes that are unrealistic.  We focus on the best case scenarios. And this sets us up for disappointment.

Successful individuals have a positive mental outlook. They aren’t born with it. They develop it during their lives. It’s a constant work in progress, maintaining a positive mental outlook. When expectations are not met, it drags us down into a negative mental outlook, throwing a wrench into years of working hard to foster a positive outlook on life.

The key then is to manage expectations right out the gate. If you ask someone to perform a task or a favor for you, set the bar low or make sure your expectations are realistic. Successful people don’t put all of their eggs in one basket. They reach out to many individuals for help. They have a back up plan in the event the person they are relying on doesn’t come through.

If you’re pursuing some dream, be realistic about realizing it. Dreams oftentimes take years to turn into reality. Successful people don’t expect immediate success. They expect failures, mistakes, obstacles, potholes. They set their expectations low. This allows them to persist without negatively affecting their positive outlook.

With a new year upon you, it’s a good time to change your thinking with respect to expectations. Take your expectations down a few notches. This way, when something does not go your way, you will not be dragged down into the abyss of negativity.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. “Under promise and over deliver” has been a key to managers succeeding in business for decades.

    As you note, it works in personal life as well.

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