A Little Bit of Realism Can Result in a Lot More Happiness

063014bucks-carl-sketch-master675Expectations are funny things. When we start to expect something, we also start to count on it. Once we start counting on something to happen, we start to make plans. Then, if we aren’t careful, we even start to act as if it’s already a reality. In our minds it becomes something that’s guaranteed to happen.

This attitude can lead to very risky behavior. Say you received a bonus the last two years. I bet you’re expecting it again this year. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with thinking positively — unless you’re already spending the bonus before you have it. I know of more than one person who assumed they could afford a more expensive house or a fancier car because the expected bonus would make up the difference. Then, when it didn’t happen, they were left scrambling to make the numbers work.

Read the rest of the article on The New York Times.