Expectations

The older I get, the more I learn to tame my own expectations.

"Pen and paper"

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

The older I get, the more I learn to tame my own expectations.

Not that expectations are inherently bad. They're just a poor compass in making decisions now about directions in the future.

The problem with expectations, in general, is that it's damn easy to set the wrong ones. And, respectively, indescribably hard to stay as objective as possible.

With expectations, you can go terribly wrong in two ways.

The fragile nature of anticipating certain things to happen stems from our intrinsic inability to deprive the decision-making process of our emotions.

Nobody thinks they're going to be a failure at a new job. We all get hyped once we see the final job offer email. At that point, we can't help ourselves, but be 110% confident we're gonna crush it. Nobody is purely rational in such situations, and as a result, we get bad quality expectations.

Accepting we suck at making projections about our future is kinda liberating.

And it becomes an advantage once you know how to notice that.

Here's a recipe on how to do it.

We all carry an enormously entangled pile of thoughts in our heads all the time. It's a matter of personal mental hygiene to disentangle these things regularly. In the process of doing that, one can uncover lots of "hidden" signs regarding the way one handles expectations.

Usually, disentangling the contents of one's head involves introducing a physical distance between the mind and the thoughts themselves.

Writing things down is crucial for that. So, seeing your thoughts on the canvas is the first step.

As we're on a quest to find and tame our (most probably) wrong expectations, the next step is to look for emotional patterns. A typical way we bias ourselves in favor of producing a certain expectation.

Here's an incomplete list of biases to look for. If you notice any of these in your written thoughts, most probably you're getting a wrong (in both positive or negative direction) expectation.

I wouldn't say don't have any expectations at all. After all, I don't think it's possible.

What I suggest is trying to tame them. To get to know them better.

Use the list above as a starting point. If you notice any of these biases, beware of setting wrong expectations.


This article is part of my writing challenge - Writing Seed. Join it and become more consistent with writing. It's totally free.