Friday, May 1, 2015

Expectations: The Less, The Better

      Expectations are a form of happiness that we would like to see in the future. They are ideas and thoughts that have not yet happened. When expectations are not met it leads to great disappointment. Our expectations stem from our beliefs and our beliefs flow from our needs. How? Let's take an example:

      Let's say If I'm lonely and call up a friend, I have an expectation that he will relieve my loneliness. If at the last minute he cancels, I will be disappointed. Notice that it's not his problem and he's probably fine with the situation. If I understand that I have made a request to my friend and if I allow him to make his own choice, I can be okay with whatever happens. I will have to find another way to solve my problem. It would be worse if I'm explicit with my expectation of him because that creates a demand on him. It causes pressure on the friendship and if he still bails, then the disappointment is greater knowing I made a request that was rebuffed. Sometimes disappointment can really hurt when it touches the ego and we take it personally.

      For our own sanity and happiness, managing our expectations is a better choice than continually being disappointed or giving up. Here are eight steps that will help you begin to short circuit your process of creating unrealistic expectations:
  1. Become aware of expectations you are creating.
  2. Understand the beliefs behind your expectations.
  3. What are your needs in the situation? Are there other ways to meet them?
  4. Is your expectation a reasonable or a likely outcome?
  5. When your expectation turns out to be incorrect, notice and adjust accordingly.
  6. When you are disappointed, don't take it personally.
  7. Stay flexible: What other options do you have?
Our disappointment should be turned on its head: Instead of being disappointed with an outcome, we really should be disappointed in our own unrealistic expectations. We can ask for things but we don't always get them. When you adjust your expectations to fit reality, you are much less likely to experience disappointment. In time, it will become a rarer occurrence. You don't have to give up hope. We can still anticipate a good outcome, just be ready to be okay with "what if" and accept it. As the old saying goes: 
"Don't count your chickens before they've hatched."
Now, let's focus on some more aspects to expectations and it's solution:

Less Expectations, More Learning

      When you expect less from yourself you tend to be focus more on yourself and you allow great things to come to you. This requires trust. If you trust yourself, that everything you needed will come to you by simply focusing on your work rather than expecting something. Then it will surely happen. That's the only solution. If you expect less from yourself then you will be able to learn more. How? Simply, because when you expect less you tend to focus on the learning part rather than the result part of it.

      And Maybe the most peaceful and quickest way to achieve something is a way you haven't thought of yet. Be willing to go with the flow.

Change Your Thoughts

      If you are feeling disappointed, it's because of the thought you have about the situation. So if you don't want to feel disappointed, change your thoughts.

      The first thing I do when I feel any disturbance to my peace of mind is say to myself, "I am determined to see this person/situation differently." And if the situation is very big then at that moment I feel disturbed which is normal but after a day or two I say that statement to myself. This is how you step into your power. Everything happens for you, not to you.

      You'll be amazed at the shifts in perception that occur when you become willing to release fear and see love instead.

      When you focus on releasing the thoughts about how you imagined your life to be, your most loving, truthful self can come forward and guide you. There is nothing to figure out.

Be Realistic

      It's human to feel disappointed now and then. It's also human to expect things. But we must focus on reducing our expectations to minimal. So, that even if it doesn't happen we will not be disappointed about it.

Let's take another example:
      If you are a parent and your child is very hardworking and your child did everything that he can do to bring up good results in the exam. Here, the expectation of you as a parent will be that your child will top the school or college. But, predicting the future is not in our hands. So, here 2 situations can occur:

  1. Either their child will really top his/her school or college. Which is the ideal situation which the parents want. But this situation is less likely to happen usually.
  2. He/she will fail to top the school or college but he/she scored a decent marks. This situation which is more likely to happen will make the parents so disappointed that they will scold and treat their children very badly.

Sumail Hassan Syed
Sumail Hassan Syed. PHOTO: Source
      The second situation will make their child feel more bad about themselves because they did whatever they can do and had given their 100% and still if they can't top the college then it's not their fault. Not everyone is meant to do things which others do. Some are good at painting, coding, photography, playing instruments and one shocking thing for parents is that some people are very good at playing computer games. You might be thinking, so what? How playing games can be good or will help their child? The Answer is that recently, a 15-year old Sumail Hassan Syed from Karachi made history on February 9th, when he helped his team called "Evil Geniuses", claim the Defence of the Ancient 2(DOTA 2) Asian championship in China. For the people who don't know, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena video game. And just by playing a computer game well enough his team won $1.2 million prize money. Can you Imagine? Such a big amount. So, to all the parents out there, I would just say that your child has ability to do well in at least 1 thing which only he/she can do exceptionally well as compared to others.

So, to end up with the article I would like to say that,

Expect nothing, Appreciate Everything