Expectations ( What It Actually Is )

The world of Expectations is one in which fortunes can be suddenly made and just as suddenly lost.

Happiness is equal to reality minus expectations.

Let that sink in.

Accept reality.

Okay.

We all have a hard time accepting the truth or digesting reality when the situation, circumstance, person or outcome is not how we expected it to be.

What screws us up most in our lives is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.

Now, I’m not here to tell you to never expect anything, as many books or advices or suggestions or any other media might; but I’m here to tell you that you can manage those expectations and be prepared for any result whatsoever.


I doubt that I’m the only one around who has had conflicting feelings and thoughts about expectations. On one hand, I have recognized the power of expectations in bringing things to pass. But on the other hand, expectations can lead to disappointment and problems. Expecting someone to do something that doesn’t happen often leads to huge conflicts. Relationships, for example, are often filled with such unfulfilled expectations. Personal expectations of how the future will work out often leave one let down. The results range from mild disappointment to fierce anger and great pain.

Even so, we all have expectations and we pretty much have them all the time. It is easy to fix the responsibility for failed expectations on other people or forces outside of ourselves. But, clearly, we created these expectations. They are a product of our own thoughts, long held as beliefs or newly-minted in the moment.

We almost never think about events that come out as the opposite of what we expected. After all, we expected that it will turn out just fine. Consequently, we often fail to see how much of our lives happens in accordance with our expectations. We live in a sea of unconscious expectations that carry us along in everything we do. In fact, our whole world view is a mass of mostly unconscious expectations.

Everything from the water coming out of the faucet to the buttons fastening our coats happen pretty much as we expect. And whose expectations are they anyway? I never doubted as a child that I would go to college because that was the family expectation. We are told to expect, and we do, that our money will be safe in the bank, we will get excellent service in a 5-star hotel, that our plane will arrive safely at our destination (luggage is a different matter). From whatever source, once we make it our own, the expectations clearly have a momentum of their own that carries great power. Wonderful, majestic things happen when we maintain expectations of wonderful, majestic outcomes. Because expectations sometime work as a driving force to do and be our best in everything. For the most part the world seems to be our garden, ready to harvest. Without these expectations we would have to sort everything out from scratch. But what happens when these expectations seem to fail? Our belief in a certain “reality” crumbles and even our own identities get disturbed by failed expectations. For myself, I have spent a lot of time trying to limit my expectations so that I would not have to deal with the misery of disappointment.

I learnt that it was me who had to manage her thoughts accordingly.

I had to look at what an expectation is. First off, it is not a promise. It is not a guarantee of a specific outcome. It is not a demand made to the Universe that our desires be met. As I looked more deeply I saw that it is simply how we are framing both the present and the future for ourselves. It is a creative act, based on past experience, energized by emotions and feelings, and modified by our imagination and desires. As such our own personal energies are being focused on the creation of that which is “expected”. I have often experienced disappointment verging on anger at getting a poor response. It has been a real challenge to me to look at my expectations and to take responsibility for them. I had to learn to accept that my expectations are my creation, focusing my energies on what I want and only that; that there was no blame to be spread because my expectations were unfulfilled; and that it was only disappointment that I was experiencing – the end of the world would come later.

This is all leading to my awareness of the necessity for taking responsibility for our expectations and for using them creatively. As an adventurer I often delight in not knowing what happens next. I make the choice to not have expectations of what situations I may encounter. However, I also make the choice to expect that I will be clever enough to handle whatever arises and to expect that when it’s all over everything will have worked out for the best. By treating expectation as a valuable tool when used consciously instead of as a compact with the gods, often betrayed, we can put the magic of expectation to use.

It seems to me that consciously chosen expectation is a notch higher than intention in the realm of focusing energies. It has a way of locking out debilitating doubt that other high-focus mental techniques, like faith and hope, do not have. When used consciously, expectation is a way of focusing one’s own energies in the most powerful, forceful way towards a desired result.

We have to remember that it is not the only influence in any given situation. It may not even be the most influential. But it is our way of being the most effectual. 


 Learn the act of appreciation. Be real and know your self worth.

Real isn’t how you are made. It is a thing that happens to you. Sometimes it hurts, but, when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. It doesn’t happen all at once. YOU Become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. Once you are Real you can’t be unreal again. It lasts for always.

—–Have hope.Keep Faith—–

65 thoughts on “Expectations ( What It Actually Is )

  1. I fully think that it’s my expectations that make me dissatisfied the most. If I could just erase my expectations, I think I would find everything lovely. I know that when I go to a movie I know nothing about, I usually end up thinking it’s awesome.

    1. That is something very personal to be said here on a comment section, I’m not being rude. Just that, my hope that things will eventually fall into place, is what gets me going 🙂

      1. I don’t think you rude at all. I forget sometimes this is a very public place and there are some things that we all desire to keep in our personal file. Thank you and praying your hope does fall into its right place.

  2. Well said! This is a fascinating subject. Quantum theory says reality rests on our expectations of any event. Christianity says, “If you have faith it will be done.” Seems to me all we have to do is find ways to remove our doubt. (obstacles to faith used as a power source are listed in chapter 13)

  3. Love it!!!! Thank you for your beautiful words, a great reminder and so relevant to the world as a whole I believe!!!
    …Ps thanks for the likes on Acceptably Naked 😉 I love what you are doing here!!

  4. I figure expectations are the source of most dis-ease in people, myself included. I try not to take anything as given until its in my hand and then I try to accept that it may disappear anytime. It’s a hard act which I fail plenty often.There’s a song lyric I always come back to when thinking about this topic; ‘We’re under a spell thinking that the river should run straight, we set goals and desires to control our own fate, but all the pain we experience is a result of our expectations, it’s the river’s nature to twist and turn.’ – Eyedea

    1. Those lyrics are so powerful 🌟

      It takes time realizing our own self too, I guess… Expecting an outcome as desired is good but I know we’ve to be prepared for a good and bad outcome…. ✌️

  5. Great post! It’s so hard not to have expectations for everything in life it’s almost what keeps us going some days. It’s being realistic with our expectations that’s the tricky part. Love the picture at the end, would be a awesome tattoo!! Excited to read more of your posts!

  6. I think it’s good to have high expectations – to a degree. I think it’s even better to overall hope for the best but expect the worst, because if you expect the worst, then you won’t be so disappointed if it fails to meet your expectation.

  7. Many people have expectations on me all my life. Pressured into something or other not free to live my life. Knowing how this feels I try not do this to people. Don’t have double standards.

  8. A beautiful read. Some of the ideas do percolate to how we think and feel in our lives. It’s so important to mindfully fine tune your expectations so as to maintain your peace of mind.

  9. Very true. All things that anger or frustrate us comes from unsatisfied unrealistic expectations…we can bitch about water being wet but what did you expect??? Lol I enjoy your art and words

  10. As I get older I realize there is more to life than getting pissed off when things don’t go a certain way. My world revolves around a husband who works crazy hours, a child that has ADHD and is constantly in motion (seriously even in pictures she is in motion) and another older child that is like a little worker bee, constantly doing something. My expectations for my children are to be happy in life, or at least content. Of course things happen that I didn’t expect to happen, but I go with the flow and change accordingly.
    Great post!

  11. Thank you for sharing those thoughts. It’s not only an interesting read but also a nice prompt to revaluate oneself. Which I whole heartedly believe we all need to do from time to time.

    I myself try to maintain limited expectations. Even if I do live in the hope that things will turn out for the best.

  12. A thoughtful piece. I can relate.
    I don’t know if it’s true to you, but I noticed that I expect a lot, because I give/ do a lot. It is not to get things back, but you do your best in everything, because you try to better yourself. And it is difficult to accept that not everyone is like us, and that not everyone cares to do their best. Some days I accept it, but others I ask why is that? Why do we have to lower our expectations? Why can’t we all just be doing our best?

    1. Honestly I sometimes find myself in similar situation. All I do is hope for the best. I can’t possibly be sure of the outcomes but I prefer doing the right thing at a particular situation.

  13. Love the post and especially the statement “I aspire to inspire, and I live to make a difference.” Having a “Plan B”, even if it is only to living with the result of an expectation unfulfilled, is always wise.

  14. Lovely post.
    I believe that sometimes you have to accept that you may have to lower your expectations to be happy, I also believe that becoming real and loving oneself warts and all has to be achieved before a person can become happy and achieve anything

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