In the last post I asked for different views on what we think reality and got some amazing response, many thanks to all those who took time out to share their thoughts. One thing I’ve learnt about reality is that it doesn’t have to be exactly perfect, it doesn’t have to be good or bad, reality is simply what is happening at the present regardless of whether it’s what we anticipated or not. Here’s an acronym I drafted for REALITY.
R- Real : As obvious as it may sound, reality is the real deal, it’s whatever is existing at the present and it doesn’t matter if it was what we anticipated or not. A friend said reality is what IS not what CAN BE and depends solely on the hand(s) or mind(s) involved.
E- Experience : What we go through on a daily basis in life has the ability to shape us. Our various experiences could define our reality. Key word here :could , doesn’t mean they should, the choice still remains ours to make.
A- Accountability : In the midst of other varying circumstances, we have the upper hand in determining our reality. I recently read a book, incidents in the life of a slave girl, where the author Harriet Jacobs , one of the very few who managed to escape slavery wrote – let him that chooses to be a slave, be a slave.
L – Living : Just as real as reality can get, reality isn’t what we lived before or what we want to live in years to come, reality is what we’re living.
I- Independent : Our reality is not dependent on what we want. Again, it is what it is.
T- Time : Reality is time dependent. We all know how stories change, your reality today good or bad doesn’t necessarily guarantee it’ll be the same in few years to come. Reality is not how you lived 5 years ago, it’s not how you want to live 10 years from now, your reality is what is happening at the very moment.
Y- Yours. It’s needless to say that your reality is yours, not your friend’s, not your family, not your ‘advisers’. Whatever decision YOU choose to make, however YOU choose to live your life, the reality of whatever is happening belongs to you and it’s totally your choice to either live with it or make attempts to change it.
Having established what reality means, let’s discuss expectations. It’s totally humane for us to have set expectations for things if not everything, from how we want our day to go to how we want someone else to act but sometimes if not most times, expectations and reality clash and this happens for a couple of reasons :
- Non- realism : Of course, when we set goals, targets that are in no way realistic,reality sets in like a bucket of cold water was dumped on us. pretty sure you’ve heard or read this somewhere but as regards goals, here’s a little reminder of what a good one should be – SMART – Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
- Laziness/Nonchalant attitude: Just as I pointed out earlier, we are totally involved in what our reality is and sometimes our expectations do not turn out well because we didn’t work towards them.
- A friend pointed out a wise saying by Pythagoras- Man know thyself ; then thou shalt know the Universe and God. To have a realistic expectation of others, we must first ask ourselves certain questions – can I meet such expectations myself? Is it wise of me to have such expectation of others? Is it fair to the party involved? If there’s any negative answer to any of the questions then it’s most likely not a realistic expectation. Expecting so much from a fellow human is totally unrealistic as we are all humans, prone to err.
In cases when reality doesn’t match expectation and it’s not a pleasing one could be regarding a poor job, an abusive relationship, a place, whatever it is, first step is accepting the reality, recognizing it’s presence and taking conscious steps to alter it.