Get Your Hopes Up

Jan 6, 2015 by

“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”

– Unknown

 

          You know that inexplicable feeling of anticipation that something good is coming but you don’t know what? It’s kind of like when you book a vacation and you get that tingly sensation of knowing that you have something to look forward to, except that there is no upcoming vacation. There’s nothing concretely foreseeable to justify the feeling other than the sense itself. There isn’t something specific that you can pinpoint as the cause of your excitement, but you’re excited nonetheless. Oh! Coincidently, I’m listening to a song (Something Big, Shawn Mendes) right now that I just noticed describes exactly what I’m talking about: “It’s like that feeling when you’re just about to kill it . . . Something big, I feel it happening.” Yes, that feeling. I love that feeling! I’ve had it since I turned 25, and I have no idea why. I just have this sense that I’m going to do wonderful things this year.

          Whenever I got this feeling in the past, before The Happiness Experiment, I questioned it and quickly put it to rest to avoid getting my hopes up. Now, I just go with it, because why not? It’s an amazing feeling. However, when that excited anticipation is not naturally there, I’ve never thought to purposely induce it. But, last week, I came across the quote above on Rose’s Instagram page. (Recall that Rose is my cousin who recently lost her husband.) I thought it beautiful, the idea of continuously living in that awesome state of anticipation and excitement. In addition to making you optimistic about the future, it helps you further enjoy right now by boosting your mood. I am so in love with this lens through which to view life that this line is in my daily affirmation: “I must make a firm commitment throughout my day to prioritize happiness, and proceed through today’s endeavours in strong belief that something wonderful is always about to happen.”

          I see now that upping your hopes doesn’t set you up for disappointment; it puts you in an optimal position to make good things real. There are two basic ways to think about the future/anything: optimistically or pessimistically. What you think is your reality. It’s the reason why two people can observe the same thing but perceive it differently. Thus, if you believe good things of your future, good things will be. It’s a combination of positive perspective and self-fulfilling prophecy, which states that you make what you believe true. According to the psychology behind self-fulfilling prophecies, people act in ways that perpetuate their beliefs. For example, if you believe someone likes you, you will act favourably toward that person regardless of whether he or she actually likes you or not. As a result of your pleasant demeanor, that person will probably indeed like you, perpetuating your belief and thereby further motivating your kind behaviour. By the same logic, if you believe something good is going to happen, you are likely to act in ways to make it happen. If you believe you’re going to ace an exam, you’re probably going to study. If you believe you’re going to land a new job, you’re probably going to apply. If you believe you’re going to have a relationship, you’re probably going to date. In general, if you believe that wonderful things are going to happen, you will do what makes you feel wonderful. This will make your belief real, which will allow it to persist, and assure you that you make wonderful things happen for yourself. With that mental grounding, with the confidence that you create your own wonderfulness, there is no reason not to expect wonderful things.

Happiness Tip: Expect wonderful things to happen.

 
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