David Brooks, NY Times: I’m sometimes grumpier when I stay at a nice hotel. I have certain expectations about the service that’s going to be provided. I get impatient if I have to crawl around looking for a power outlet, if the shower controls are unfathomable, if the place considers itself too fancy to put a coffee machine in each room. I’m sometimes happier at a budget motel, where my expectations are lower, and where a functioning iron is a bonus and the waffle maker in the breakfast area is a treat.
This little phenomenon shows how powerfully expectations structure our moods and …
In practicing mindfulness in daily life, it’s worth watching out for small experiences that lead to tension, stress, or anger.
I noticed several months ago that I’d start feeling resentful as I walked toward a pedestrian crossing with the intention, of course, of crossing the road. The resentment is connected with the number of drivers who don’t stop when they see someone — well, me! — about to cross the road.
But I’d actually start getting resentful before I even reached the side of the road, long before drivers could possibly realize that it was my intention to cross in front of them. It’s all rather irrational, and goes way back, but I won’t bore … Read more »