Updated: Feb 14, 2019
There is a truthful equation that goes like this:
Happiness = reality - expectations
So that means we should just set our expectations incredibly low, then we'll always be pleasantly surprised right?
In my opinion, that's no way to live. By keeping our expectations low, we never push the boundaries. We never dream big.
But there is some value in managing expectations.
Take the stock market for example. It isn't all rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it's broken glass shards and cyanide.
If we have very high expectations, thinking that stocks always go up, we'll be in for a rude awakening.
If those unrealistically high expectations force us to sell our stocks at an inopportune time, then we need to think about expectation management.
While low expectations don't force us to push the envelope, incredibly high expectations may cause us to quit right when we should be persevering.
This is especially true in the stock market. On average, stocks go up every 2 out of 3 years. But for that one year they are going down, it's tough to stick it out. It makes you question if you actually know what you are doing and if you were cut out for this whole stock market thing.
Be aware of how you set your expectations. High, but not so high as to discourage you when reality kicks in.