“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
― Bruce Lee
Expectations is just another word for a veil to cover your eyes and to block out any possibility of seeing something for what it really is.
Enough of expectations. Kill all expectations. If there is one underlying factor that you should eliminate, it’s having to expect a certain outcome or result before initiating your objective.
Expecting something — a result, pre-made plans to have no interruptions, a movie that blows your mind, a restaurant to be the best ever, or a book to change your life — is a step backwards and hinders our ability to accept openly. Instead of seeing something for what it is, embracing it and allowing the art to speak for itself, we end up creating these false images and outcomes by expecting something to be (usually) greater.
This creates a lot of room for negative criticism, judgement, and frustration.
Do you want to know what expectations usually lead to? Being let down, frustration, unsatisfied, disappointed, and loss of trust.
This can be applied to anything from movies, food, work, and life.
What happens when we refuse to listen to any reviews or opinions? What happens when we go and find out for ourselves?
We omit any predetermined outlooks and judgments. We allow the situation to present itself to us and we use our own creativity, knowledge, and biases to formulate our own opinion — one that is beneficial to us. We learn to enjoy things for what they are because we don’t go into a situation with a finalized result already lingering in the back of our heads.
Ask yourself: What makes you think that person shares the same qualities and interests as you? Why are you allowing that one piece of advice dictate your outcome? Are you really going to rely on someone else to make a decision for you?
Disconnect from expectations and the chances of you ever feeling frustrated or disappointed will be mitigated.
Expectations in your work and life
Think about your passion, work, craft, dream job, etc.
Why allow any expectations, judgements, or heavily biased opinions pave your path? Why not step on that path yourself and create your own road, with your own set of rules, and your own results? Sure, forewarnings and a little bit of first-hand experience from others help, but should it determine the way we initiate something?
Absolutely not. By allowing fear and doubt from others overwhelm your actions and mindset, you never really get to find out for yourself and to use your own methods to make your situation better; you live off of someone else’s experience, believing that what happened to them will happen to you. Wrong. Don’t expect that because it will come true. The more energy you spend on expecting a result, the less energy you have to be open-minded and to be conscious of your decisions.
Do you know how many times people told me not to pursue the craft of writing? Do you know how many times I heard that writing and blogging can’t make any money? That it’s too hard, that most blogs fails, and that the field of writing is for the few?
If I had listened to that, I would probably be working a job that I hate because I would have allowed other people’s failures make me expect something that is not even there to be begin with; it becomes reality when you allow it.
When facing a situation where your expectations arise, try to do this:
- Pause. Catch yourself in the act and stop yourself from creating an outcome that isn’t there to begin with. It becomes a reality when you believe in it. If you walk into a restaurant with a predetermined judgement thinking that it will be an awful experience, most likely, it will be your worst experience ever.
- Accept what you see and try not to let you emotions interfere with your decision.
- What are the facts? Face them. Let them reveal the true answer.
- Understand that your interests and passions may be similar to someone else, but it is not exactly like the other person; therefore, what they tell you from their experience may not be directly related to how your experience unravels.
- Know this: If you go into something with a negative judgement, you are blocking out any possibility of that situation being fruitful and positive. You might as well not go into it.
- Use advice, opinion, judgements, and thoughts only as a forewarning. Do not let it become your reality. Keep it in mind, and don’t let it influence you so heavily that you lose balance. Weigh your options and formulate your own decision.
You don’t need to live with expectations in any situation. In the grand scheme of things: they are worthless. They kill creativity and openness. They ruin any possibly of something being a unique and memorable experience.
If you expect too much, you need to lower that bar a little bit. Leave some room for the situation or opportunity to surprise you — because honestly, who doesn’t love being surprised by a positive and great outcome? Who doesn’t love it when someone exceeds your expectations and over-delivers on something?
Expect nothing. Live with an open mind and allow the situation, art, creation, or what have you, present itself for what it really is. Through this practice, you don’t squander your energy on negative emotions and you embrace keeping an open mind.