Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Setting Realistic Expectations Helps Create Happiness ...

I'm met lots of young people who are unhappy with their place in life ... which has caused me to reflect back on my life.  A long time ago, a very smart young woman (Susanne Sliwa) taught me a phrase I repeat often: "Low expectations are the key to a happy life." This article defines "happiness" as "reality minus expectations." I think both are brilliant, and true: 

Click here to read: "Why Generation Y is Unhappy"

I (and my classmates) graduated from law school in 1992 (I fall in Gen X) with $85K in school loans when law firms were laying off 3rd and 4th year attorneys because of a lousy legal economy. (Lots of my classmates had more loans than I did, since I had an undergrad scholarship covering all of my tuition.) 

At the time, because I would have a significant amount of debt when I finished, I was criticized for choosing private schools over cheaper public education, but it was the right choice at the time for me ... knowing that, however, I do believe it was a fair criticism both then and now with respect to a graduate's debt load since there were cheaper options available that I could have helped me "launch" with much less debt. 

(As an aside, today's grads have many more options for lengthening repayment and wonderful loan forgiveness programs for public service -- I do believe these programs should be expanded and better publicized, and would like to see current student loan interest rates lowered to current market rates). 

To the point of the article, though, it seems that most of my parents' generation, and to some extent my generation, understood that a tiny apartment with hand-me-down furnishings, a used car (or a bus pass), and Mac and Cheese were just part of starting out. Today, I'm not sure those expectations exist. Then again, I might just be an "old fart" already and not even realize it ... and I must remember that conversations of one generation judging the next (one or two) are as old as time ... Lol. : )

PS ... I do not think this is exclusive to Gen Y ... unrealistic expectations affect every age group. Also, check out the commentary to the article.  (Also, it's interesting to read how valued technology knowledge is by some of the younger commenters ... I think it naively discounts so many more skills that come with age and experience.)  What do you think? : )

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