Lower your expectations.

sadprincessYes, that’s what I said; but it isn’t as pessimistic as it sounds. It might be more accurate if I said, “ditch” your expectations. Let me explain …

Have you ever gotten yourself all worked up about an event (like a party, concert, dinner, etc) only to be really disappointed when the big day finally arrived? I’ll bet you’ve walked away from more than one Big Deal something-or-other thinking, “Wow. That was anti-climactic.”

It’s easy to make the mistake of setting yourself up for disappointment by placing huge expectations on something. The “something” might be a new job, a special event, a relationship, or even – gasp! – you. The trouble with expectations is that you expect them to become reality, and then – when they don’t materialize the way you’d expected – you are sorely disappointed, even angry. You feel gypped out of something that was rightfully yours. You feel betrayed. You might feel foolish.

But, you say, you don’t want to go through life low expectations. Of course you don’t, and I don’t want you to either. I want you to go through life without any expectations. Ditch those expectations and replace them with aspirations. It’s a subtle but powerful difference. Put simply, an expectation is something you expect while an aspiration is a goal or objective. Often, expectations spring from a sense of entitlement, but aspirations usually spring from a desire to attain something through your own actions. An expectation is passive, but an aspiration is active. If you expect to have a great time at a party, you’re waiting for someone or something to create that good time for you. If you aspire to have a great time, you’ll find a way to have a great time – regardless of outside circumstances.

You should fill your life with goals and objectives, but put expectations out of your mind. Instead, work towards your goals while enjoying the journey. Expectations can be very limiting – closing us off to undiscovered possibilities. Ultimately, nothing we do is as much about the end result as it is about the journey … but that’s a post for another day.

Do you have expectations or aspirations about things? If you have expectations, how do you think your outlook would change if you shifted to aspirations?

Image Credit: Gabriela Camerotti

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2 responses to “Lower your expectations.

  1. Holy Crap! This post is totally the answer to an old post of mine: http://mybellafiglia.blogspot.com/2008/11/square-pegs-round-holes.html ! You are a genius,

    (P.S. Are you ready for NaNoWriMo?!?! 2 days, Baby!)

  2. @my darling Shangrila 😉
    Loved your post. Left my comments there. I don’t think I’m a genius, but I do love the way our our thoughts complement other. It’s an age-old problem, isn’t it … trying to balance the built-in Type A drive with this messy thing called Life. Some days it works, and some days … well, not so much.
    Hope today is a good day in your world.

    As for NaNoWriMo … I’m itching to get started and terrified of sitting down at the blank screen. I have part of an outline in my head, and hope to get a few hrs between now and Sunday morning (I’m not getting up at midnight … my cold’s got the best of me) to do some more serious outlining. We must be completely insane to be doing this. Did you find the Bill Johnson book? Ready for the rollercoaster ride! 🙂 SO glad you’ll be there, too!

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