No Expectations?

There’s a saying I’ve seen lately…

(No Expectations, No Disappointments)

But is that even possible? And if it was possible, would that be a good thing?

Let’s face it. We have expectations of ourselves, of others and even of the things around us from the time we get up in the morning until we go to sleep at night. If we fall asleep in our own bed, we expect to wake up there in the morning. If we set our alarm, we expect it to go off at a certain time and wake us up. We may expect that we’ll hit that snooze button once, twice or maybe even three times before actually getting up. We expect the car to start when we turn the key in the ignition. We expect to be busy or bored at work, appreciated or unappreciated by our boss, etc.

Think about it. Don’t you have expectations of yourself, of others, of well, just about everything? They may be positive expectations, such as expecting your spouse to give you a goodnight kiss. Or they may be negative expectations, like expecting your computer to freeze up at the most inopportune time.

But what if we really didn’t have any expectations, of anyone or anything? What would that be like?

Really what I think we should try to avoid is unrealistic expectations, not expectations altogether. For instance, if I park my minivan in the garage at night, I shouldn’t expect that when I go out the next morning that there will be a BMW there instead. If I don’t tell my spouse that I’m upset, I shouldn’t expect him to know. If I don’t set my alarm, I shouldn’t expect that it will go off and wake me up in the morning. If I tell a friend a secret and I know that she likes to gossip, I shouldn’t expect her to keep it to herself. It’s our unrealistic expectations that often lead to disappointment and sometimes even heartache.

It seems to me that expectations are just a part of life. I don’t want to live in a world with no expectations. I want to be able to expect Michael to call me every night when he’s away to tell me that he loves me and to say goodnight. I want to be able to expect that when I put a pair of my shoes on that they’ll fit my feet. I want to be able to expect that when I’m feeling down my friends will try to make me feel better and when I’m excited about something, they’ll be excited for me. Sometimes we do get let down, disappointed, even when our expectations are realistic, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have expectations at all.

What do you think?  Do you struggle with expectations vs. reality?  If so, why do you think that is?  Are you setting unrealistic expectations or are your expectations realistic, but just not being met?


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