Lower Your Expectations To Raise Your Happiness

Wait, huh, what? Yup it is true and there are 3 things to prove it.

Janice Tovey
3 min readJan 15, 2022


Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Starting from birth, we are taught to aim high. To reach for the stars.

I suggest the opposite.

Aim low!

Let me explain.

Let’s pretend there are two types of people. Satisficers and Maximizers.

The Satisficers are the people with the lower expectations. They make a choice and decide that it is good enough.

The Maximizers are the individuals with the high expectations. They spend lots of time making a decision because they want to make the very best choice. The perfect choice. The first time. No mistakes allowed.

You can probably see where this is going.

When measuring happiness, it turns out that Satisficers are happier in the long run. Maximizers set the bar so high as to never reach their idealized goals. Maximizers often face disappointment and shame. They believe that they have to always be perfect. They continually second guess themselves. Rather than feeling happy they feel discouraged. They berate themselves for not succeeding.

The satisficer mindset proves to be healthier.

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Setting lower expectations can make you feel better.

But we are overachievers, we don’t want to lower the bar.

Don’t despair. Thankfully there is a middle ground!

Level Set Your Expectations!

When you level set your expectations you are better able to cope with bumps along the long path of life. Not everything is perfect. Not everything can be perfect. No matter how much pre-planning is involved.

Non-level set maximizers would be continuously derailed by these same bumps. There would be disappointment, shame and a sense of failure.

When you level set your expectations you give yourself the freedom to experience a variety of uncomfortable circumstances that are beyond your control. You…



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.