Incomplete happiness

Incomplete happiness

I recently read an interesting article (summarised from the Harvard Business Review) in which the authors suggested we may well expect too much from our business leaders.

In short, they claimed that the “myth of the complete leader” encourages us to expect our managers and executives to have the brainpower to understand hugely complext issues; the imagination to paint a vision that engenders enthusiasm and passion; the operational know-how to turn strategy into action; and the interpersonal skills to motive and meet all challenges surrounding staff!

In reality, noone can live up to all these expectations and I suggest many people have similarly unreastic expectations about happiness…is it helpful to aim for “complete happiness”?

My answer would be a definite “no”!

And that’s in no way meant to imply that we can’t and shouldn’t expect and aim for happiness, or more happiness; I very much believe we can and should. At the same time, however, I also believe we can and should have realistic expectations about happiness and this means accepting that noone will be 100% happy 100% of the time!

As humans we will and should expect to experience “negative emotions” such as frustration, anger, disappointment and more. We should also try to ensure that we learn and gain from such experiences so that we might limit the extent to which these unpleasant experiences impact on our lives and further, ensure that we then experience more happiness in the future.

As I’ve said many times at The Happiness Institute, achieving happiness requires nothing more than practising a few simple disciplines on a daily basis…and one of those disciplines involves making sure our thoughts and expectations, about all manner of things including happiness, are realistic.