Is it true that expectations can only bring pain? And expectations only bring disappointment? Don’t expect much so that you are thrilled with what little you get?
Those thoughts ran through my head as the events of my life unfolded in front of me. Negativity and sadness begot more negativity and sadness. Then a friend said, “Look at it this way, expectations are good because they can propel people (including you) into being someone or something they never thought they could be and reach heights they never thought they could.”
I looked up the definition of the word expectation. I saw each definition as positive, such as “the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.” In my mind I imagine a child sitting on an airplane waiting to land and get to the hotel. The hotel that has a huge pool with multiple water slides. A landscape the child has imagined in their mind. Upon arrival, the child sees the grounds and a look of wonder appears in their eyes, as if, what they are seeing has exceeded any expectation they had.
As we see more and learn more I think we lose that wonder. We come to expect beautiful things, places, great service, but when we get it, instead of allowing it to wow us, we just brush it off because it is what we expected. It is what should have happened. We have lost the excitement of when what we expect comes to fruition.
Buddha taught, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” If I keep my thoughts positive and full of love, I will be those thoughts. I will be positive and full of love. I expect greatness from myself and others around me. I expect to catch every wave and when I do I smile with appreciation. I expect to get an interview for that job, or reaching higher, I expect to get that job. I expect to surf daily. And when I do, I will relish in the love that ensues. While it may not happen immediately or even as fast as you want it to, if it’s in your mind, it will come to fruition.
A simple change in thoughts will lead to a change in action. A simple change in attitude will lead to change in response. I am working hard, each day, to monitor my thoughts, attitude and expectations. While it’s not easy, the results will exceed my expectations.