Skip to main content

~Great Expectations~

"The best things in life are unexpected-because there were no expectations." ~ Eli Khamarov

"When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have." ~ Stephen Hawking

OK, so its 7:30am and I am awake in bed thinking that I need to now. For anyone who knows me, the fact that I am even awake at 7:30am is quite an event. The fact that I am doing something relatively productive at this time of day is just amazing. I am finding though that I enjoy writing the most when I am inspired and the result of this is today's blog.

So what was I thinking about when I woke up this morning? Expectations...the ones I have of you, the ones you have of me, the ones we have in our everyday life and how they can be a great cause of confusion, miscommunication, and general dissatisfaction. In the past, I have spent too much time being frustrated and disappointed in the people around me and even worse, in myself. Over a period of time, I have come to realize that it wasn't always that I failed or that other people failed me, but that it was the expectations that started the trouble in the first place! Now this in no way means that you or I should let people treat us with little respect, take advantage of us, or not strive to make a better lives for ourselves. However it does mean that instead of focusing on what we WANT to happen, we instead be more open to what WILL happen.

I am sure someone is sitting there thinking (or I am going to get an e-mail about it), well what is wrong with having expectations? What is wrong with wanting the best from yourself and others? My answer to that would be: don't confuse expectations with ambition or motivation. The word expectation is defined many different ways. One definition is as follows:

*notion of something: a mental image of something expected, often compared to its reality. (MSN Encarta).

THIS is where we run into problems..."compared to reality". The reality here folks is that we are all human. Is it nice to run our heads through fantasy land every so often? You bet. This is especially true when we are going through times of change, uncertainty, or stress. I think though that when the mental images become more fantasy than reality, is when we set ourselves up for the biggest disappointments. This is because most of the time, they cannot compare. In fantasy world, our coworkers do their jobs giving 100% (or at least 50%) all the time, partners can anticipate our every need without us ever uttering a word, and our kids get through Thanksgiving dinner without a scene. Here is the reality though: our expectations are usually different than the ones other people have. The coworker that is driving you crazy may think they are giving 100% by playing a game with a patient rather than making the patient's bed. Your partner may think they did good by picking up some of your favorite ice cream on the way home while forgetting to mail the bills. Your child may think they behaved perfectly because they didn't toss a roll at their brother's head during Thanksgiving dinner, even though they subsequently had a tantrum over finishing their dinner. In all these instances, everyone is right. They all met their own expectations.

I think Mr. Hawking (in one of the above quotes) really has the right idea. Maybe it seems a little extreme for some people to have zero expectations but for those of use who expect way too much, aiming for zero will possibly put us in the "average" category! I am finding that since I have started to not have so many expectations of myself and others, that life has gotten a whole lot less frustrating. I appreciate more of what people do have to offer and I tend to be much gentler with myself as well.

I have an event coming up soon I was experiencing some anxiety about. I pretty much attributed it to a variety of factors, but could not exactly pinpoint what had me in such a state. Then in a conversation with a friend (and a very wise one at that!), he made me realize that maybe it was my expectations of the event that were getting in the way. I had so many expectations for how I wanted it to go, that I was not giving it a chance to just let it be what it was going to be. I realized how right he was when I actually slept well through the night and woke up with a whole new calm perspective.

So I guess all I have left to say this morning is hang on to hope, ambition, anticipation, and possibility. In the process of doing this though, remember to keep your expectations of yourself and others realistic, attainable, and most importantly not in the way of enjoying whatever you may be experiencing today.


  1. So true - so true Chris! Expectations often keep us from seeing and appreciating "the now".

    I think it's also about communication. If you're thinking something will be a certain way, say it. Or if you need something, ask for it. There's no harm in expressing what you believe will happen or what you want to happen or what you need, thereby making your expectations known. The tough part is expressing it in a way that is merely open and transparent...not judgmental or a challenge to the other person to "meet my expectations or else".

    I expect that I will continue to read very insightful and helpful things on this blog...


    XOXO Tina

  2. Love this! Keep them coming! xoxo LKDD

  3. Once again great blog!!!!!! You do have a lot of insight!!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

After careful consideration and a lot of research, I made a decision after the holidays to embark on a cleanse/detox. I will start by saying that I have never done anything like this before, mostly because I don't believe in fad diets, or any diet for that matter, and also because I'm not sure, with all my health issues, how good it would be for my body.

However, I had been having some new digestive issues and some of my other autoimmune symptoms were acting up sporadically here and there. I also really overdid it and made some consistently bad food choices over the holidays and I was trying to get my food cravings under control. The digestive issues were not anything severe that impaired my daily living, but I am slightly paranoid about my family history of ovarian cancer and I am at the age my mom was when she was diagnosed. The most overlooked and under recognized symptoms of ovarian cancer are the digestive issues I was having such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Sinc…

Low Dose Naltrexone

In my last blog entry I discussed my current experiences with an integrative medicine doctor. (Going Down the Road of Integrative Medicine). In that entry, I mentioned a new medication I was prescribed by this doctor called low dose naltrexone (LDN) and I think that it is worthy of its very own blog entry so here we go. Be forewarned, it's a bit complicated...

Since we have the modern day miracle of Google, I am not going to spend a lot of time describing LDN and exactly how it works, but I think there are some basics that are important. Naltrexone is a medication that was created in the late 1970's as a treatment for heroin overdose and subsequently used in larger doses (50-300 mg) to treat heroin addicts. It blocks the opiate receptors in our body, which are also found on immune system cells. The next discovery, in the 1980's, was that naltrexone at lower doses (hence why it is called low dose naltrexone), blocks these opioid receptors and increases the endorphin level…

Sjogren's and Disability

I have been reading a lot of posts of the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Facebook page lately about disability for this disorder. People seem to have a lot of questions and comments not only about the process itself of obtaining disability, but also about the journey which is at best, extremely stressful. Having gone through the arduous process myself, I thought it might be helpful to blog about my experience in the hope that someone may find the information useful or at the very least, know that they are not alone in their struggles and frustration with getting through this system.

My journey with disability began in 2008 when I was put on short term disability through my former employer. After a period of time (I believe it was ninety days), it converted to long term disability which was a benefit I had elected through my employer, thank god. What that meant was that a private disability company, contracted through my employer, paid me sixty percent of my previous year's gro…