Expectations, to have an expectant attitude!
How many times haven’t our expectations ruined it for us? Or ruined it for people around us? It is just as bad if people around us have high expectations and we are the cause for their unhappiness as if we feel unhappy because others fails to live up to our expectations!
We constantly fool ourselves with expectations and most of the time those expectations will never be fulfilled. The only thing our expectations will achieve is that we feel miserable and as a failure. With age I have learned not to set up so high expectations and have more realistic goals for different things. But nevertheless, even now I find that I sometimes fall in the trap any way! At least I think I must have, since I still get disappointed now and then, both by people in my surrounding and because of my self!
Let me give you some examples from moments which can mean that we have an expectant attitude!
Family life with your spouse!
When the weekend comes and you have planned for a romantic evening with your spouse after your gorgeous little children have fallen to sleep.
If you where just a little bit realistic or thought this through a little you should know that this is probably not going to work, in fact you have won the lottery if it is working since there are millions ways it can go wrong!
I will give you just a few: Your children can´t sleep and the delicious dinner you have prepared is a complete failure that is both burned and cold by the time you two can sit down to eat. And even if we love our children dearly, they don’t add so much to a romantic feeling. Or your spouse is to occupied with problems at work to actually notice you or the fantastic dinner your have prepared. Or maybe he/she is exhausted after a week’s hard work and falls to sleep in an unattractive heap on the sofa after just one glass of wine!
Family and relatives!
You are planning for an event with the relatives and you have made a special effort to show that you are a first class chef and a good wife/ husband.
All the children are noise and unhappy since they don’t think it is funny to sit at a dinner table watching grown up that just eat and talk. You can also feel there is something wrong between your sister and her husband, there is a tension between them that is almost touchable and they try hard to ignore each other. Your mother in law cant stop talking about all the misery in life; aunt this and that has got hernia, a broken hip, a stroke, a cold, pneumonia and her best friend have died recently. Your father in law keeps talking about his hobby that nobody is interested of or have heard about fifty times before or talks about how awful everything is now days and so on. Your younger brother puts so much food on his plate that the fantastic dinner you have prepared looks almost disgusting. If you are lucky some of all those people will acknowledge all the hours you have put down in preparing this event. And when they all have left you just sit there, wondering why on Earth you got through so much trouble!
You and your family are going away for the weekend and you have made hotel reservations and planned some activities! The site you are going to visit have the most unbelievable beach you have ever seen and the small restaurants at the site looks so picturesque and cosy!
You and your family arrive tired after a long journey to this fantastic place and found out that all the cosy restaurants have closed for the night and you end up in the hotel bar eating a hamburger. The next morning the sun is shining from a blue sky but a strong wind is blowing so there is red flags all over the lovely beach accompanied with signs that screams out the message: “Warning for strong undercurrents!” You have to put all your effort on preventing your kids from become swept away by dangerous undercurrent because they can’t stay away from that lovely beach and the sea. After half on hour you give up and the whole family ends up in an in-door swimming pool instead. The next day your kids are eager to go to the indoor swimming pool again but you and your spouse isn’t so keen on spending another day in that environment. So, the compromise is that you leave your kids in the bath guard´s care and go for a walk in the lovely surroundings. In the afternoon and the evening you spend more time walking around in this little town, shopping and eating. After a few days with hard wind constantly moving in from the sea you have walked all the small roads in the little town and poked around in all those lovely little shops and spent a fortune on clothes, food, ice-crème and candy.
New Year’s Eve
It is New Year’s Eve and you and your spouse have been invited to friends for a great party. This is going to be the party of the year, with good food and many happy memories. For some reason the party starts out somewhat stiff after all the presentations are done. Everyone has evaluated each other and all the right social phrases are said and done. The evening’s host feels the awkward tuning and solves the problem by constantly filling up everyone’s glasses. Even though adults should know better they don’t! Before midnight several of the men are either very drunk or asleep. And others have problem sticking to their wife/husband. By midnight there certainly isn’t any glamour left, the champagne feels just as bitter as your mood and all you want is to get out of there!
It is time for the annual reunion with your old girl friends. You have all known each other for more than twenty-five years and been through a lot together. During those meetings everything from fashion, life, work and most of all the never-ending subject relations and relations problems becomes discussed. After a night with them you usually walk home with pain in the jaw and stomach because you laugh all the time, feeling happy inside and also strong because you have such good friends.
But not this time, suddenly a dramatic change has happen! Everyone is there, but all are a little bit older. Instead of matters of the heart and life you end up in a discussion of hip surgery (this really must be a very common surgery, is everyone walking around with a new hip…) pain here and pain there, bleeding disorders and diabetes. By the time you reach the dessert you have advanced on to high cholesterol and sleeping disorders! On your way home you don’t have so much pain in your jaw or the stomach and your mind is totally occupied thinking that you might have high cholesterol after all!
It takes 90 seconds for feelings to wash trough our body when we react to something around us that makes us angry, afraid, sad etc.
If you still are angry after 90 seconds you have chosen to be angry!
High expectations are the key to everything!
The best things in life are unexpected – because there were no expectations.
Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations, and small needs.
William Howard Stein
Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.
Edward de Bono
Every one of the events described above could be quite all right and some of them could be quite funny and exciting if only the expectations we have in our mind where more realistic. The people around us aren’t the big problem because we can never control them and decide how they should act and behave. The only thing we can control is our own mind.
- It is only you that can control your thoughts!
- Take control over your thoughts and don't let them run wild in your head!
- You can choose wether or not you want to waste your time on disappointment or annoyance!
- Take advantage of all of life´s moments. Even the less amazing!
- Dont think that you can write script to people around you!
- Choose how you want to look at your reality!
- Choose how you want to react on things that happens in your surrounding!
- Have empathy with others. They are just human!
I constantly remind my self of this when I feel my thoughts are wondering off to fantasyland anticipating those moments of happiness and special moments.
All the miserable or not so successful events are part of our life too and we must try to welcome them as opportunities to train our selves. What we need is to improve our self-esteem and to be more emphatic. The happy moments will come anyway but not always when we expect them to!
Do you feel disappointed by people around you?
If you liked this one you might also want to read:
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