Last week, we explored the positive side of expectation. We looked at a situation in which one person expected the best, another expected the worst, and they were both rewarded with the fruits of their belief. Belief is very powerful.
But belief alone is not enough to produce success in life. And that leads us to the darker side of the phenomenon of expectation.
You don't need me to tell you that sometimes, our expectations are not fulfilled. We've all been there. In fact, unfulfilled expectation is at the root of many of our major disappointments in life.
What's the difference, then, between the belief that causes miracles and the misguided expectations that lead to disappointment, anger, frustration, and hopelessness?
For want of a better term, I'll call it reason. Expectation against reason (defined as a rational ground or motive) has got a good chance of producing disappointment.
Let's put this into terms we can all relate to. I've come up with a short list of situations in which expectation is likely to lead a person down that dark rabbit hole of disappointment. We'll explore 2 today and leave the rest for next time. Ready?
Expectation Crusher #1: Expecting gain with out action. As this myth goes, hoping should be enough. The person should simply think about abundance and their bank account should fill to overflowing.
Now I'll be the first to agree that it is possible for this to happen. You never know when a long-lost relation is going to leave you a million bucks. Or maybe the lottery ticket that sweet Aunt Edna gave you for your birthday last year could win a "second chance" drawing. Stranger things have happened.
But to follow our example of financial gain, here's how having an expectation of abundance normally pays off. You begin to feel abundant (not just think, but feel). The feeling of abundance causes you to be more creative and observant. Bright ideas start popping into your head, seemingly out of nowhere. You meet people who can make connections for you. Ultimately, you take action on your ideas and connections and create a solution to somebody else's problem. That solution -- a contribution to the well-being of someone else -- is what fuels your subsequent material abundance.
In other words, simply thinking about being abundant -- while it's a start -- is not enough. Action is required.
Expectation Crusher #2: Mind reading. Or... He should just know! As this myth goes, people should know what you desire without your having to communicate it to them. Your boss should know you want the day off. Your boyfriend should know what you want for Christmas. Your kid should know you care about him. Etc.
Realty check. It's ever so tempting to think that everyone is just like us. But look around at the variety of vehicles you see on the road, clothing you see on people, music you hear on the airwaves, etc., and it's clear that just isn't so.
A good number of people tell me regularly that they don't even know for sure what they want for themselves. So is it reasonable to think that their kid, spouse, boss, or anyone else for that matter should be expected to? Of course not. When in doubt, tell 'em. So simple. You'll both be happier.
Two expectation crushers busted. More tomorrow!
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
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