Denmark is the happiest nation in the world—according to studies—and researchers attribute Danes’ happiness to having low expectations in life. In other words, Danes have a non-idealized way of looking at the world. The happiness killer isn’t having ideals. Rather, it’s the power we give them. We can either be inspired by or imprisoned by our ideals—and the choice is ours.
The word ideal can be defined as:
1. Existing as a mental image or in fancy or imagination only; broadly: lacking practicality
2. A standard of perfection, beauty, or excellence
3. Of, relating to, or embodying an ideal
Since the age of twelve an ever-widening chasm between my life ideal and my reality has loomed over me. The daughter of successful parents with a mother who fed me motivational quotes and self-help books as if they were milk, I’ve always been a dreamer, a goal setter and a somewhat obsessive list-maker. Deep-seated insecurity has been the fuel driving many of my lofty, unmet goals.