What Do You Expect?

Expectations are a funny thing.  They shape our perception and are the standard to which we measure our experiences.  How many times has a movie been ruined due to high expectations?  How about that New Year’s Eve?  Conversely, how about the glowing feeling you get when your low expectations of a person or event are pleasantly proven wrong.  How many of us have trained ourselves to have low expectations rather than experience the pain of disappointment?

Have you ever taken a sip from a cup expecting it to be milk and its orange juice, or vice-versa?  Our experience was shaped before we even took the sip.  Our taste buds were primed for the flavors, textures and taste of…you fill in the blank.  Unchecked and largely unconscious, our expectations go before us and design the context in which we will experience our world.  Take a moment and let that sink in.  How do you expect your day to go?  How are people going to behave?  Is a good and giving world?  What do you expect of yourself today?

Take a few moments to write down some of the expectations you have of yourself, other people and the world.  Once you have written down the list read it through and notice how it makes you feel.  Then, ask yourself if they are reasonable expectations.  Is there room for your own humanity and the humanity of others?  Be honest.  As you go through the day, if you notice yourself in moments of disappointment, frustration or rationalizing the shortcomings of yourself and others, it’s likely your expectations are getting the best of you.

Feel free to comment below if any of this resonates with you.  If you want to dive deeper into expectations and their impact on your results, check this out.