Jeff Wolf

Writer / Adventurer
Ventura, IA, United States

Someone is shy

Jeff hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Comments & conversations

122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
I’ve been trying to figure out how to be concise. I think I came across a workable example in my response to Cheyenne. I believe in the inherent worth of every individual (truth to me). In my experience, I can see that I do not always believe that about myself (a lie). I can become aware of the lie as part of exposing the truth, but don’t believe it’s necessary to believe the lie in order to be aware of the truth (i.e., I don’t first HAVE to see myself as unworthy to see my worthiness. I don’t HAVE to experience sorrow to know joy … they just happen that way a lot). To make matters more complicated for myself (and communication), I don’t generally use the term ‘lie’. I think it implies intent (to deceive). More accurate is to see the ‘lies’ as misconceptions (misunderstanding doesn’t imply intent, although it implies error). To be more precise (and create even more communication issues) I prefer to use ‘unawareness’. I am simply unaware of the truth … no intent to deceive and no error of judgment. In a larger sense then, I see ‘sin’ as believing a ‘lie’ which is merely a ‘misconception’ that indicates ‘unawareness’ of truth. Awareness becomes the goals. Where does unawareness (lies) come from? I believe it is our choice. In our experience, we each create our own understanding of reality by building on ‘lies’. Our fortress seems impregnable and we don’t understand how it can be a choice or how to make different ones. From an evolutionary perspective, our consciousness has developed (and is developing) so we can experience awareness. From a religious perspective, it is about knowing God. From a philosophical perspective, it is about knowing ourselves. From a mystical perspective it is about “the oneness.” From a psychological perspective it is about accepting ourselves. From a metaphysical perspective it is about understanding our existence without regard to time or space. I believe these are all the same (different perspectives of the same truth).
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
If being satisfied with my answer means I think it is the end-all and be-all, that I am unwilling to alter my perceptions, or that I think it is the final truth, then no, I’m not satisfied. If it means that it is a workable answer for me that seems logically sound and supported by anecdotal experience, then yes, I’m satisfied with my answer. Barry’s talk postulates that happiness is reduced by ever-increasing options (that he associates with freedom) because we tend to expect that there would have been a better outcome from the choice(s) we didn’t make. I agree with you that expectations (or the lack of them), do not cause happiness, but I still fail to see how they are not correlated. If one thing reduces or increases my experience of something else, then there is a relationship, even if it’s not causal. Can you explain your point more? In your example of water, you would only be looking for it in wells if you expected it to be there. But if you only look in wells, you may miss the stream flowing by. You may also miss (and be annoyed at) the rain getting in your eyes while you desperately search for water where you expect it to be. I guess I see a close relationship between expectation and happiness even in your comparison to water. If expectation affects whether we look for happiness or not, then I see a relationship. If you have the opportunity to continue, please help me understand. Thanks Thomas!
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
I think all the feelings I experience are real … I feel them so they are real to me. If they are based on a misconception, I’m not sure how I classify them. As an example (albeit not directly tied to expectations): I believe in the inherent worth of every individual, yet I experience many, many emotions that are based on the belief (or fear) that I am not worthy, not good enough, or not deserving. My feelings are real, but they are … ummm … unnecessary (?), false (?). Having said that (sort of), each time I recognize I am forgetting my own value and worth, I have the opportunity to increase my awareness of my worthiness. That makes the feelings based on misconception of value to me. By the way … I checked out your website. I liked the animation with the pictures on your home page. Do you take the fashion pictures as well as blog about the subject?
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
Hi Amily. If I don’t expect something bad to happen, it would also reduce fear (maybe all negative emotions can be reduced this way). Hmmm ... want to think on that more. I’m trying to understand how happiness and expectations are not correlated (others have said this too). It seems to me that the happiness I experience (regardless of definition) is reduced when filtered through co-existing negative feelings like anger, pain, fear, sorrow, dread, etc. I agree that reducing the negative is not a cause of the positive. But if it has an impact on my experience of happiness (increasing it), then isn’t there a relationship between the two? I see this is not the answer to happiness, but it seems to be part of the tapestry that creates a more positive experience of living.
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
I see what you're saying now (I think). I look at "I do not expect my expectations to be fulfilled" as 'desire' or 'want' and expectations as being much closer to the fulfillment of desire. Given that though, I see desire (not the fulfillment) as having much to do with happiness.
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
“Could the answer be that happiness is found in NO expectations?” (My original question.) Also (from the original), “Having no expectations … allows joy and contentment in all circumstances” My question and statement mention finding and allowing, not resulting. To me, finding means something already exists. If happiness is not being experienced, it can be found or discovered (I can become aware of it). Not having an expectation would simply allow me to see, for example, an act of love in providing me dinner (as in my original example). I am aware of my happiness when I experience acts of love. I do believe that having no expectations is possible. However, I currently have no intention of devoting my life to the singular focus of getting there.
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
I think I’m using the same definition of expectancy, but focusing on a specific point when I contrast expectation and expectancy. I definitely want to live in a “state of thinking that something pleasant will happen”. That is significantly different to me than having an expectation that something specific will happen, or should happen. Maybe my point is a corollary to your statement that people think the absence of something will result in happiness: people also think the presence of something will result in happiness (expectation). I think happiness is not dependent on circumstance (I completely agree that nothing “results” in happiness).
122922
Jeff Wolf
Posted about 3 years ago
Could the answer to our happiness be found in NO expectations?
I have a twist on the concept of opposites. The value in recognizing opposites is that they reveal a greater truth that encompasses both. I think we generally do a poor job of defining opposites though, so poor that it obscures the truth. What, specifically and in detail, do we mean by light? We have to know our own definitions before we can define its opposite. In reference to your example, pure darkness would be bland as well, wouldn’t it? And the blandness of pure light would create depression. I acknowledge the relationship between opposites and how you point out that they help us recognize their shape, color, and texture. I tend to diverge from convention wisdom though, in that I don’t believe experiencing (or embracing) both is required to bring about that recognition. My valleys have helped me understand and more fully experience my mountain tops. I believe that is a very common human experience. But I think it’s correlation, not causation. It is something that DOES happen, not MUST happen. In other words, I believe I can experience mountain tops without experiencing valleys, even though in my experience, I have had both. I can see truth without having to believe lies first.