Living With False Expectations
Oftentimes we find ourselves looking ignorant because we have trusted misinformation. With very little effort, we pass on untruths which we assume to be accurate. It would amaze us, if we stopped to think about it, how many things that we believe to be true that, in fact, are not true.
It might seem obvious to us when we are asked, "Where was the battle of Bunker Hill fought?" But the seemingly obvious answer is not the right one. The shots heard at that Revolutionary War battle were fired at Breed's Hill, not Bunker Hill. And who said "Elementary my dear Watson?" Certainly not Sherlock Homes, because that quotation is never used in any of Conan Doyle stories. We all carry with us a lot of misinformation.
Perhaps, most of those many pieces of misinformation never do us much harm. but we also carry around many false ideas about life and how we ought to proceed in life which are dangerous or damaging. These illogical and irrational ideas slowly and silently convince us.
Many people believe that we ought to be totally competent in everything that we do. We believe that is part of being an adult. Because of this, we are often reluctant to admit errors. We hate to believe we have vulnerabilities. Worst of all, we torment ourselves when we do not achieve as much as we think we should. It can come to a point where we only see our faults and no strengths at all.
It is irrational to think we can be competent in all our endeavors. The very fact that we have developed some skills means that we have left other skills untended.
Another false idea we have as humans is the idea that we should reap admiration for most of what we do. We look for nodding heads to remind us that we have done well, and, if our best effort is ignored, we question the value of what we have done. It is true that we all need recognition, but reality reminds us that recognition does not always come in direct proportion to our efforts. For most of us, most of what we do goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
Finally, it is a falsehood to believe that all of our unhappiness is a result of what others do; and that we over simplify victims of circumstance beyond our control. To look at the world around us and complain about what it does to us is of little value and leads us to believe we have no control over our own destiny. But we do!
Indeed, the expectations we have about life sometimes become that rules that guide us. And since they do, we ought to step back and examine the validity of these ideas. Nothing has the power to make us more miserable than a false assumption about life.
Rev. Hans Lillejord