This week, I want to share with you a short phrase that encapsulates a significant idea.
The phrase in question:
So often our minds get stuck thinking thoughts, such as:
- “It should have been this way.”
- “It could have been that way.”
- “That was an unfair situation.”
- And in question form: “How could my partner/boss/children behave that way?”
The areas in which our expectations run rampant are innumerable.
It happens in relationships (with family, friends, and partners) and professionally (with co-workers, managers, company policies, and unsuccessful job applications).
The truth of the matter is this:
They/he/she just did behave that way whether we like it or not.
The million dollar question is:
In one sense, an expectation is a desire to have the world inside and outside of ourselves behave in the way we prefer – maybe even demand.
Disappointment stems from the gap between what we expect and what actually takes place.
Or in formula form:
Without even being aware of it, we become accomplices in generating our own anger and resentment, every time we cling to our expectations and refuse to accept the world as it is.
Internally, we might wish to not feel down or anxious – even though we do.
We might ignore a physical ailment that fails to get better, or argue that a recurrent unhelpful behaviour (such as losing one’s temper or craving a drug) will never happen again – even though history suggests otherwise.
In terms of wrestling with the reality of the outside world, we might fail to accept that a DIY project will not be completed without new tools or another’s expertise.
That living “a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget” only results in increased debt – no matter how much one wishes this to not be the case.
The more we cling to our expectations the more frustrated and downtrodden we feel.
The more we become aware of our expectations and the disappointments they create, the more we are able to adapt to reality.
Take a moment to consider the ways in which you are an accomplice in creating your own anger and resentment – simply by holding onto unmet expectations.
What small and large things are you failing to accept in your life?