Pesky Expectations!

28 Feb

Think back to the three best moments in your life. Think back to the three worst moments in your life. Remember them well, and realize that all six of those events occurred because of your perspective. While events may naturally be exciting and/or demoralizing, I am firmly convinced that the impact is because of what we thought would happen going into it.

Expectations have much to do with how we react to a situation. For example, objectively, someone could sit back and say LeBron James’s first year in Miami was a fantastic success. Forgetting the fact that Cleveland fell apart, showing his value, you have a team that was excellent all year, made it to the NBA Finals, and probably should have won, just as Dallas should have beaten Miami years earlier. Similarly, many a parent is frustrated when their adult daughter gets married to someone she loves.

In both cases, the disappointment is because we came in with pre-conceived notions. But this can work the other way also. My son took a test over a book that he read months ago and Kelly and I are confident he didn’t know anything about it. He did poorly, and we were frustrated. Then we looked at the facts and found that his taking the test finished his requirement for the year and he did well. We were elated, but only because we expected this test to kill his average.

It’s crazy how our thoughts of things beforehand can totally change how we feel about something. Last night there were primaries. We had people getting less than 20% of the vote in Arizona claiming success. Expectations colored their view of success.

Now why would anyone care enough to talk about this? Well recently, I have had things where people are curious why I am not ecstatic to which my only reply was I expected it. Similarly, I’ve had issues where people are wondering how I am remotely cheery, and again, my expectations led me to it.

I’ve heard it said that there are optimists, realists, and pessimists. I don’t know if those are the only three categories, but I do know that the mind is a powerful tool that can effect our emotions merely by believing something before it happens. So watch your thoughts as they become expectations. Of course that leads to the flip side of the same coin. Do not let your expectations drive you so much that you’re unpleasant to be around.

Now walking this edge may be something that you find simple, but I find the only time I can control my expectations are when I let them control me, and that isn’t good for anyone. So, as I struggle through controlling my expectations and still being moderately enjoyable to be around, I hope that I am able to do so. When I was young, I didn’t care, I was always hopeful. Now that I’ve grown, I hope that I am not so staunchly pessimistic as to be loathsome to be around!

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2 Responses to “Pesky Expectations!”

  1. Jenni June 3, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    Your posts inspire me to think of great poetry. This one: Joni Mitchell's song "Both Sides Now."

  2. AskThePhatMan June 3, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    A wonderful song!

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