In anything that we regard as “good” there is an element of “bad.”
For example, you imagine wanting a great job, but then you later discover the job is unsatisfying because your boss is a jerk.
Or you want a romantic relationship with an attractive person, but later you don’t get along and have a horrible breakup.
That’s how you come to discover the “bad” in something that you desperately wanted.
Nothing that you want now will satisfy you forever.
You can’t obtain something “good” without eventually discovering something “bad.”
The “bad” is the experience that you weren’t expecting to have, because you were focused completely on the “good.”
The key word here is experience.
Nothing is good or bad in and of itself.
We experience things as “good” or “bad,” and then label them accordingly.
If we expect to have a good experience with a new job, or a new lover, then we have good experiences…
Eventually we have more experiences.
Inevitably, we don’t see only the good in the situation or person.
Eventually, we encounter something bad.
Then we call the thing that we first labelled “good,” by a new label.
We now call it “bad.”
But nothing is good or bad in and of itself.
Even things that we first experience as bad can eventually wind up leading us to a good experience.
We tend to keep track more of the things that go from good to bad than vice-versa.
We tend not to keep track of how our expectations take hold, nor of how they play out.
If we kept better track of things we might discover how we create our own imaginary world, fabricated completely from expectations.
Then we might learn to not be so absolute in our judgments about what’s “good” or “bad.”
Of course, paying attention to your expectations is kind of tricky.
It’s not as easy as you might expect (irony alert).
But the good news is you don’t need to rely on anyone else to better understand your expectations.
You have complete control over the learning experience.
Just pay attention to what you call “good” and “bad.”