We set expectations for everything in life -- our grades, jobs, family, love life, personal looks. You name it, we do it. We create a false reality of what's to come. Each and every day we set these standards and expect them all to be met. Why do we do such a thing? Kenneth Burke, an American literary theorist, explains that humans are symbolizing animals, meaning that we function by symbols and not just signs, as animals do. While this is beneficial because it is why we have come to be what we are, there is a downfall. Along with humans being symbolizing animals, brought the idea of perfection and the negative. Both of these are a creation of our own -- we become our worst enemy right from the start.

The standards we set and expectations we have for ourselves are causing us to fail. We expect so much of ourselves and all that we do. We don't always succeed, and immediately we shoot for better and more. I know right at this moment that I do it at every corner of life. I expect to do well in everything, I put false hope in getting all that I wish and try for. I expect to have my life planned perfectly -- a ten-year plan. Graduate with high honors, get my dream job, become successful, find the perfect man and live a wonderful life. Well, as good as it sounds, that is not reality.

While it is good to set expectations and standards for ourselves at times to have a motivation, I'm beginning to think this isn't the most beneficial thing. We set these expectations and when we don't reach them, we immediately beat ourselves up. I think it is time to focus on the now and not the future. If you keep looking ahead and what you're currently not, you'll diminish yourself. We are not defined by our failures, but how we come back from them.

Every single person on this Earth is not like another. We are all different individuals with different lives. Everything in the media and world today is talking and showing how to be better. Better looks, better homes, better jobs, better lives. We need to give this aspect of our society the cold shoulder. Enough with trying to become better and do better and just accept who we are. Our lives were not made to change and point out the imperfections in them. Our lives are for happiness, love and pure bliss. We need to realize this and stop engaging in false realities.

There is always going to be expectations you have in your mind, even if you try to push them away. However, what we need to do is try to see what we have and can do, rather than what we cannot. When we don't get what we want or succeed, we need to realize that is okay. Things won't always go our way, but that doesn't mean it is the end of the world. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are happy. At the end of things, you will get what you want. Our lives are a constant push and pull. We weren't put on this Earth to be manipulated by things that we've created. Life is to be lived to the fullest and not to be held back by the negatives. It may be the simplest and most over used phrase, but life should be looked at as a glass half-full. It is a journey with many ups and downs, but there is no need for it to be overshadowed by the downfalls.

I have always tried to stay positive and use this metaphor. Recently, after taking a step back and looking at things, I realize as hard as I tried, I got caught up in the whirlwind of life. No matter what happens, I, and you will get to where we want to be in life. Life is about happiness, peace and joy. It is too short to be worrying about every little thing. The important thing is to always remember this -- do not allow yourself to be beaten down by the world. Take a hold and start living your life as you should be.