If I choose to take on a challenging ordeal, it feels better than when one is thrust upon me.

Expected trouble is less traumatic than unexpected trouble.

Invited trials are more manageable than those I inherited.


The walk home is long, and I do not have a coat.

A) I know that heavy rain is predicted before I set out, and I choose to go anyway. The rain comes, and I get soaked.

I arrive home cold and wet but grateful to be back in the dry and warm as planned.

B) I didn’t expect rain and am completely caught out by it.

I rail against the weather every step of the way.

I arrive home full of self-pity, frustration, anger, and resentfulness that life constantly dumps on me.

The pivots between the two resulting mind-sets are:

  1. Choice.
  2. Expectation.
  3. Acceptance.

Living in a high-tech multimedia age means that other people (and organisations) constantly tell me what my world could or should look like. 

Social media and advertisements predominantly do this, but we can all be tricked into supporting them.

They do this by displaying the lives of other people.

The problems start because the people are not real, and neither are their lives.

This false witness messes with my expectations and ensuing choices.

Perfect smiles, ideal holidays with numerous brilliant mates.

Always laughing and loving everywhere. 

Polished homes and swanky cars. 

Gorgeous party invites and arrival to applause. 

Endless promotions and accolades at work. 

Vacuum cleaners that delight and devices that never break. 

Cooking creations are appreciated every time and don’t make me fat. 

Alcoholic drinks don’t enslave or destroy health but only contribute positively to my continued blessed existence… 

All is fluffy and flawless.

The sun always shines …blah fucking blah!

My expectations of life are being groomed to levels that reality cannot deliver on.

I make decisions in line with my elevated and unreasonable hopes.

To ‘expect’ is a short hop to feeling entitled and deserving.

When reality eventually bites, It can bring with it a cocktail of unhelpful feelings:

  1. The outrage of denied entitlement. It’s unfair!
  2. Jealousy of all those other fuckers who supposedly have it so good.
  3. The shame that somehow I, me, myself have failed to match up to standards.
  4. The fear of being found out and shunned.

So I erect a veneer, put on my game face, hide my truth under a carefully constructed avatar, and head back into the world as best I can.

I join the myriad of others perpetuating the fiction.

I pretend.

I fake it till I make it. That’s a thing, right?

But I feel fake.

I wrestle with shame and impostor syndrome.

I am crippled inside. I hurt. I yearn. I am unrequited.

I need comfort, and I crave relief from this horrid reality.

This is the crux point.

The fork in the road.

Option 1.

I find an activity or a substance through which I can bury or numb my feelings.

Option 2.

I return to the source of the lie and uncover the truth.

I choose the latter.

The truth is that the world is troubled, and we are often better off for it.

Our lives are normal to have a constant stream of blemishes and travails.

It is essential to have problems, for it is through them that we learn and grow.

Perfection is found in the imperfect.

The more we lean into our problems by expecting and accepting them, the more we can get on with finding the appropriate remedy and the less we will feel cheated by the cosmic balance.

Happiness is not something we all just magically inherit or are guaranteed by the government.

Happiness is the result of something.

A drink when I’m thirsty

A meal when hungry

A warm blanket when cold

A friend at a lonely time

A new job after unemployment

Spring after Winter

A bath when I’m dirty

A soft bed after wild camping

None of the above would make me as happy without the preceding experience.

If I want to find more happiness, I must find more challenging experiences.

The benefit of this approach is that I choose the experiences to test me instead of leaving it to the universe to bowl them at me randomly.

I choose.

I expect what I selected.

I embrace and accept the ride.

I grow and find peace.

I am requited.