February 10, 2023

Your perfect road to misery

Assumptions, expectations, feeling entitled without checking whether you are maybe the only person assuming or expecting or feeling entitled to something is one of the first lessons you need to learn if you want to make yourself and others unhappy. It’s a great recipe: Create a world in your head around how it “should be” and then start comparing your actual experience with your ideal scenario. Ignore everything that is going well and everything that you might enjoy because it is not exactly like you imagined it.

Let me give you an example. I spent a few weeks on a lovely, warm island during German winter. At first, everything was wonderful. Turquoise sea, sunshine, balmy temperatures – a perfect spot for a “workation”. Then, a few weeks in, I noticed that I was missing good coffee, also good food to an extent because most places catered to young surfer dudes and dudettes with an appetite for burgers and fries. Suddenly I became aware of the fact that I had not had a good glass of wine in a few weeks and was getting sick of tea and beer… Can you see the downward slope on the horizon? I was in danger of completely forgetting everything that I enjoyed about the place because it “should be different”. If it only also had good wine, coffee, better food on top of the lovely people, climate, sea, nature, animals, it would be perfect! And imagining “perfection” (which does not exist), ruins everything.

There are many situations in which we are tempted to make our imagined perfection the measuring rod for life: with our partners, with customer service, with concerts, food, etc. When we add interactions with others, it becomes even worse. The people whom we judge against our imagined perfect scenario probably never agreed to providing this kind of perfection. When we express our discontent with them they look at us with disbelief and hurt feelings: they have done 100 % of what they were expecting of themselves! When you address what for them is +000,1% and forget about the 100%, they rightfully feel unappreciated for their 100%.  

Here’s another example: I had been working myself crazy on very important future focused projects when I was working for a bank and it was a time when everything I did was Prio 1 and not much time was left for anything else. My contact at the bank reviewed some of my documents and started discussing why I had put a comma here and not there. You can imagine that I was less than enthused.

I think we all do this to a certain extent. I am likely to get irritated, for example, when I am at a restaurant and I feel they “don’t respect the ingredients”. (Are you feeling my interpretation, evaluation and invitation to make myself miserable?) Instead of valuing the present which I cannot change (after all there is food on the table), I am comparing it with my ideal scenario. It would be much better to realize that I don’t like this restaurant, learn from it and not go there again.

Here is a thought that sometimes helps me when confronted with less than ideal situations: “Is it really fair to be judging this person or performance by my imagined standards? If I talked to the person and told them that this is what I expect, would they agree?”

In Solution Focus, we deliberately try to see the full picture: not to forget about what is not working, but to not forget about what is working either. Personally, I have not found a 100% fool proof way out of the self-made misery of creating an ideal world in my head and evaluating everything against it. If you have any tips, let us know!

If you’d like to meet up and chat, learn about our classes, discuss coaching cases, mindsets, philosophies, why not join us for one of our free meetups?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.


Popular Posts

Subscribe weekly news