Expectations

Daily Blog Post 378

I’ve written a lot about expectations this year and that’s because I’ve recently been trying to better understand this concept more.

I’ve written a lot about expectations this year and that’s because I’ve recently been trying to better understand this concept more.

In regards to any situation, we have three choices to make in what we expect for the result.

We can have high expectations of ourselves

We can have low expectations of ourselves

Or have no expectations.

If we have high expectations of ourselves, then it can be a great motivator. But it can also be detrimental if we fail to reach those expectations too often. You can’t set your sights too high that it’s impossible to reach, because then you’ll be telling yourself “I expected better” every time. And if you expect better every time, then you are telling yourself that you have failed… every time. You are not meeting expectations. 

Self-expectations are tricky in this way.

Setting smart goals is the key to escaping the trap of detrimental self-expectations. Reach high. Be imaginative. But be smart. Don’t expect yourself to attain the impossible EVERY time. Gary Vee, a mentor I highly respect and follow, has often told his followers that he realized at an early age that he is more likely to buy the NY Jets than play for the NY Jets. One goal is smart and attainable and motivates him to be the best entrepreneur he can be, and at the same time, he is most definitely reaching high. It’s a big expectation for him. Had he set another goal to play for the Jets, well, at this point, would be near impossible for him, and was near impossible given his situation growing up. Some of us are just not born to be professional athletes on a national stage.

What about low-expectations?

These are non-negotiable in my opinion. Low-expectations sets yourself up for failure. 

It becomes a race to the bottom.

You hit your goals because they are so low. Now you’ve set a new ceiling, but it’s lower. Every new “goal” moves the ceiling lower, and your possibilities for achievement thus go lower. It’s a quick race to the bottom. Pessimists believe they can’t fail because they either hit their low goals or they were “right” about failing. What a cognitive dissonance–either option sucks.

But what about expectations of other people, not ourselves?

I wholeheartedly think that these expectations are the worst.

If I expect my friend to do a certain thing, and they fail to do it, is it a fault of them, or is it an internal fault? Was my friend even aware of the expectation in the first place?

I’ve been actively trying not to project my expectations on other people, especially if I don’t actively voice them. On strangers, on friends, on family. It can become a toxic thing when you live in that world. Where are those expectations coming from?

In reality, nothing ever goes completely as you’ve fantasized it. Never 100%.

If you are okay with these expectations never being fully realized, then I commend you.

But personally, I’d prefer to allow the flow of life to occur. Go into the strides of life not expecting the worst, and not expecting the best out of myself, nor other people. Instead, just living. Just being. Just allowing the world to work its magic.

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