I once read that expectation is the root of all evil…or all heartache…or something like that… I can’t quite remember the exact quote or who said it. And to some extent I agree with him/her.
Expectation can lead to disappointment when things don’t turn out how we thought/hoped they would. But I think not having any expectation means also not having any goal, desire or purpose. And that just doesn’t seem like how we are meant to live. (Although perhaps the proper word for that then is intention, not expectation.)
I know I’ve had expectations of myself, as well as others, many times over the years. Sometimes my expectations were met, and sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes things went horribly wrong, and sometimes what happened was so much better than I ever could have planned.
I think if you are able to ride the wave and not be too set in your expectations, you will do just fine. But trying to control and predict life is a frustrating (losing) battle.
When expectations aren’t met, it can still be a positive! It becomes a learning opportunity – a way of gaining knowledge through life experience.
When expectations are exceeded, we get blessed by The Universe with a nice surprise.
Many times when I’ve had expectations of someone – whether at work, a friend or in a relationship, I’ve been accused of being too demanding or too controlling or just not as nice as I could be.
But here’s the deal…
If I am asking you (gently nudging or even pushing you) to do more than you think I should, it’s because I know there is something more there for you.
I am not trying to be mean; I am trying to help you reach your potential.
At work, I used to see that people could be more than they were – that they would then have the chance at a promotion (if that’s what they wanted).
With some of my friends, I knew that pushing them a little outside their comfort zone would end up bringing them more self confidence (when they mastered something they thought they couldn’t).
Lots of times I see people who are settling with what they know (because it’s comfortable) instead of going after the thing that’s amazing (in fear of failure). And often, I have pushed (encouraged) them to settle for more instead of less. They haven’t always seen that my intent was to help.
And that’s ok.
You can live life without having any expectations about anyone or anything, and you may save yourself from disappointment.
Or you may not.
Without at least a little risk, you rob yourself of the opportunity for a great reward. Why not leap, and have the expectation that, regardless of the result, whatever happens is perfectly how it was meant to turn out?
Taking risks is not about escaping life; it prevents life from escaping us.