“A day full of expectations is a day full of disappointments and things I knew had already happened” – Steve Chandler.
Expectations are a funny thing, expectations are just something our brain expects to happen in advance as a kind of prediction for the future.
“The sun will rise today” – if the sun does not rise today our brain will be very surprised because he did not expect it!
Here’s one funny expectation: “My car will be in the same place I parked last night and in the same condition” (I remember this because I came to see him and found that his left mirror was broken). Smaller expectations that cause daily suffering are our expectations of other people and our expectations of life itself and wanting them to cooperate. For example when I saw the damage to the mirror, I experienced suffering and resistance to what was happening and I felt frustrated and very anxious for about an hour until I started to calm down. But why did I feel that way? Because reality did not cooperate with the expectations of my mind and I opposed it. This does not mean that there is no action to be taken and it does not mean that it is okay to destroy another person’s property but the fact remains that if I accept every moment as it is, I will at least suffer less than if I oppose it.
If you look at the nature of all the expectations you can see the expectation that is in everyone’s source and is pretty funny and sounds ridiculous (but still all of us including I sometimes act on it), the expectation is: “If things do not happen exactly the way I want them to happen, I will not be happy” . Is this realistic? Is it possible that things will go exactly according to what one person out of 8 billion wants? Indeed if so then this expectation will not come true for everyone because the nature of things that one person’s will is the opposite of another person’s will.
Maybe now you see the value in researching our expectations because if we reverse Steve Chandler’s quote we find something interesting: “A day without expectations is a day full of surprises and things I did not know at all that happened to me” – and that sounds pretty exciting! When we lower our expectations it leaves room for accepting what I do not want to happen and for gratitude and appreciation from what goes according to plan, things that were not there before. And yes it’s a practice, yes we will not do it perfectly straight and yes we will still have a lot of them, but that does not mean it is not worth being aware and exploring what our expectations are and what their degree of truth is.
As my mentor Gary says, “How do you really know that what you take for granted will not go away smiling tomorrow?”
This is one that is especially fun in my eyes! Choose 2 things that you take for granted in your life it could be health part of your body, home, water, livelihood or anything else there are a variety of things and a wide selection! (Hint: if you have experienced disappointment from something recently then there was probably a hidden expectation behind it). Expectations are a tricky thing, we do not notice that they are here until what we expected to happen does not happen anymore!
Now, research the degree of truthfulness of these expectations, do I really know that this thing I take for granted will be here tomorrow? Will he be here forever? Is it not possible that one day he will disappear and no longer be here? Does everyone in the world have this thing?
Investigate it and argue, nothing is guaranteed, nothing is taken for granted. We were not promised anything that we were born into this world, we were not given any contract that guarantees us certain rights, so although it is difficult to remember this – nothing is taken for granted.
Enjoy, and do not take your expectations too seriously!