Expectations – Toxic or Magic?
We all have them, but are they poisonous to the mind and our life or are they awe-inspiring?
If you look at what the majority think, by the amount of terrifying memes shared on social media, expectations are never to be thought about; they are so out of bounds. They are the root cause of your struggling and misery. Only fools dabble in expectations!
A quick search in Google images today for this blog and it’s the same old story there too…your expectations will strangle the life out of your happiness.
Here are some quotes I found. Maybe these are your train of thought? I would say, ‘Enjoy’ but I passionately disagree. With all of them. Anyway, feast your eyes upon this little lot.
Wow. Happiness is a state of mind.
I have to say here it is human nature for people to want others to be like them. This does not, in my opinion, fall under expectation, it falls under control. And I ask you, why do you choose to let others make you feel disappointed?
Is this really saying I can only be happy if I don’t have any expectations?
For me this all nonsense. Here is what I believe:
- Expect the best for your future
- Expect the best outcomes
- Expect the best of yourself
- Expect to see the best in others
And this last one is very true indeed.
No so long ago a study was done in the USA. In brief (And I do mean, brief), it comprised of the following: A couple of prominent social psychologists gave some teachers two groups of students. They told the teachers that the first set of students were all A graders in the making; and well behaved etc etc. when in fact they were underperforming and hovered around average.
They gave the same teachers, another set of students, the real A graders and told them not to expect too much from them.
After 12 months guess whose scores increased the most? Not the original A graders but the first set of students. Why? because the teachers naturally and automatically expected them to do well. These expectations were shown not through intentional bias, but unconsciously.
The unconscious mind controls 90% of your behaviour
The double whammy here of course is that the students themselves reacted to those (conscious or unconscious) expectations. And that occurred to both sets of students remember. The A graders were not expected to perform as well so they didn’t.
This bias obviously came across in how the teachers treated both sets of pupils. That is the power in expectation; it unconsciously controls your behaviour and that of those around you.
My Belief is, Expect The Best
Yes I believe in having high expectations. For myself and for my future and I believe the best will come out in those around me too (Expectations) whether they are friends, co-workers, employees or a loved one.
Your expectations are controlling your behaviour.
Of course, there will be the odd time when maybe my expectation of my future does not pan out quite how I would like it. That’s life. But whether my expectations are high or low or non-existent, there will always be disappointment.
Obviously I am not alone in thinking like this. Here are 2 more quotes from two guys I admire. Both had high expectations.
And finally…this amazing athlete had no expectations placed upon him after being told he would never, ever make it in basketball. How wrong they were.
Of course I always say if a strategy you are using is getting you what you want, do more of it. So if having no expectations eliminates all disappointments and makes you happy, keep it up.
But if you are really using the no expectation route as a defense against some future imagined hurt then maybe you can higher your expectations? Best to change something, right?
As always, anything really is possible.
Expectantly yours (Couldn’t resist it),
Rob Hamilton – The Mind Coach