The Pursuit of Happiness

I am not writing this because of any recent events so don’t over think too much. I have held this opinion for a long long time.

I am writing this because Iris Koh responded toGwee Li Sui‘s poetic post that people were way too political (poetically he was asking for god to give him the strength). Iris basically said that I was always happy because I expected nothing from people.

If you expect your friends to be good to you, there is a side effect. If your friends are good to you, you would say that they should be good to you, you do not have gratitude in your heart. Why should you have gratitude when they are just doing things that they should do anyway?

If you expect your husband to love you and be nice to you, whatever he does for you, you would take for granted, he should be doing all of this, so why give additional brownie points for what he is supposed to do. If you expect nothing from him, every of his gestures becomes an expression of love, and you have gratitude.

If you expect your wife to love you because she is your wife, you would have disdain for her when she does little actions of love for you, because to you she is supposed to do that. So why give additional brownie points for what she is supposed to do. If you have no expectations of her, every of her actions is gold, that you are blessed beyond words.

When my best man in marriage hurt me in business earlier, my heart was at first filled with rage and anger. I thought how could he? He was my best man, and yet he could do this to me? Later when I calmed down, I finally came to the realization, “why should he not hurt me? What reasons did I give him not to hurt me?”. None. Zilch. Zero.

I started to think of my own conduct of my life and business, “what did I not do that caused this?” Other questions came to mind, “Was there anything I could have done better?”. “What else did I not do?”. “Did I spend / invest enough time to relate to my partners?”.

I realized one thing, that the fact I have NO expectation on anyone makes me improve my relationship with my wife, my mother and my father. It also made me a better businessman, a better investor. Nobody owes me anything for me to expect anything from them.

It made me more polite to the Uber driver who came to fetch me. Granting that I am paying, but in my view, they could have rejected me, or chose another profession. They did not have to drive me from point A to point B, payment is just part of the picture, and I am grateful to them, and as a result, my conversation with them is polite and grateful. Before I grew as a person, probably I would not think this way of people who are serving me.

Same thing as a diner in a restaurant, I am grateful. I am grateful for people choosing jobs / professions that make my life more pleasant.

I love all of you, and I truly mean it. And that is also why I know I cannot expect anything from you all. And as a result, any good gesture that you are doing for me, I am grateful.

And if you do bad things to me, I expect that anyway, so I also have no hatred for you. 🙂

That to me, is my key to happiness. It is rather simple. Try it. 🙂

ps : I have another secret for running business, and that operates in a smaller subset of my conduct of a human being. Will share some other time.



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