I’m always happy when I find that a nice hotel exceeds my expectations, but I get impatient when it has a lamp or TV which doesn’t work, or I can’t figure out the shower controls or if it considers itself too fancy to put in a coffee machine. We’re sometimes more comfortable in a budget motel where our expectations are not as high.
We feel gratitude when some kindness exceeds our expectations or is undeserved. David Brooks says “gratitude is a sort of laughter of the heart after some surprising kindness.”.
We’re grateful when some people showed they thought more of us than we thought they did. It is a form of social glue to be repaid forward to another person who also doesn’t deserve it. You’re amazed that life has managed to be as sweet as it is.
G.K. Chesterton wrote that “thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
Life doesn’t surpass our dreams but it nicely surpasses our expectations.