29 March 2010 6 comments

What do you expect?

29 March 2010 · 6 comments

in Uncategorized

Ah, expectations. We have them. We set them. We manage them.

But they’re really just little time bombs of judgment, ticking away, waiting to explode.

You can’t “set” others expectations (though we try to all the time). People set their own expectations. Nor can you manage others’ expectations, even if they try to convince you that it’s somehow your responsibility to manage their thoughts.

There’s only one of you; there’s millions of them.

The only person you can control? You.
The only expectations you can set? Yours.
The only expectations you can manage? Again, yours.

So the only real option is to stay your own course, even if that course changes over time, as it inevitably will. The reactions we hear from others (the surprise, the dreaded “disappointment,” the vitriol) are their own resistance to change, or their frustration that what they thought they understood was not, in fact, the case.

We can only be responsible for our actions. Not the reactions of others.

Living up to the expectations of the masses is a fool’s errand.
It’s hard enough to live with our own.

Image: http://www.h4x3d.com/themes/bomb/

  • I sense a theme in your posts lately, or maybe just a theme I needed to sense in them — about realizing our ability to control how we see the world and how we see our work and how we see ourselves.

    I can't control other people or outside forces, but I can control my own perception of events, my own motivations and my own perceptions.

    Life doesn't just happen to us — we happen to our lives.

    It's not coming out properly (I'll use the late hour as my excuse) but I like it. 🙂

  • That's one of my basic assumptions: that, ultimately, we all hold the power of our lives in our own hands, hearts, and perhaps most importantly, heads. There are plenty of things we can't control, but we can always control how we choose to respond, and how we choose to move through the world

    To me, that idea brings an incredible sense of freedom (but also of great responsibility).

  • JoAnna

    I just had this conversation over the weekend. In other news, stress comes from wishing things to be other than they are. 🙂 Keep writing,, my friend.

  • That's still my favorite definition of stress (even if it's my own!!). Explains SO much.

    Thanks for reading…and commenting! It was a treat to see you here.

  • Seems like how we choose to either react or respond (there's a difference, reaction being reflect and response being more consciously thought out) is really the ONLY thing we can control in our lives, and responding in a way that comes from love and compassion is a great way to bring more of that love and compassion into our lives.

  • You are definitely on a roll with your last few posts. I've heard that expectations are pre-meditated resentments. On the other hand, I'm a big fan of setting Intentions (not to be confused with goals). Intentions leave more wiggle room. I can intend to have an amazing day and to be in gratitude for what happens during the day. And then, no matter what, find the good in it. That's a surefire trick to reducing stress and getting where I want to be.

    People, places and things will not always go the way we want. The stories we make up when that happens have a lot to do with the life we create. It can be “life is a struggle” “nothing ever works out for me” “She always gets her way… at my expense”. Or like the mantra I just gave my client:

    “Everything always works out for me, I don't have to know how.”

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