These are pretty common goals and expectations.
Now, imagine all the ways in which these goals could go awry — even through no fault of your own.
You might spend years looking for a lifelong partner and find only short-term relationships. Consequently, you will see all your shorter relationships as failures and begin to feel inadequate.
You might be fired from your job and start to question how smart or competent you really are.
Or you might despise your chosen career but feel trapped in it because changing careers would challenge your concept of yourself.
You might sustain an injury and have to spend several frustrating months in physical therapy, painstakingly returning to the same level of fitness (or less) as before.
And you will almost certainly drift apart from some people you care about, or worse, lose them to accident or illness.
In all likelihood, you’ve already experienced some degree of suffering related to the areas described above. These aren’t particularly pleasant topics to consider!
Yet it’s important to understand the root of our pain so we can learn how to alleviate it.
In essence, the pain that arises from the above situations is due to excessive attachment.
Attachment to what?
To our own self-image, to our images of others, and to our expectations about life.