Expectations Lead to Disappointment

Dry tree branch and blue skies

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”-  Brandon Sanderson

We will almost always have expectations – whether it be about our career, where we are at in life, and even in our relationships. By a certain age, I should be married with kids, I should already be earning this much, I should have a successful business, I should already have my own house, my partner should be doing this and that… the list of “shoulds” could go on and on.

While it’s not wrong to have a dream and aim for something, expecting things to happen based on how and when we picture it can eventually lead to disappointment. We set an imaginary bar, and expect others (or ourselves) to reach it. And when our expectations aren’t met, we feel disappointment, and even resentment. We forget that these are just expectations that we made up in our head. How things turn out, or how people act, is out of our control.

It’s not an easy thing to do, but when we start to expect nothing, it’s like having a blank slate – the possibilities are endless, and we are ready for any outcome. Sometimes, even things we never dreamed of happening, way over what we thought possible, happens. We also become more present. Instead of playing the expected scenario in our heads, we can actually focus on the now, and appreciate it as it unfolds. 

It’s quite funny how it works, but I realised that to become happier and to avoid disappointment, one needs to continuously work towards his goals, but don’t expect it to happen. You would think, “what’s the point of having a goal, then?” Setting a goal gives you something to look forward to, and to motivate you. But if you expect nothing, then you won’t be disappointed, no matter what the outcome is. 💜

2 thoughts on “Expectations Lead to Disappointment

  1. The quote on pottery stuck on me, as I tried to finish a clay pot my wife started last week, and it cracked when it dried. 😀 a good analogy if you force things to take shape on how and when you want it, it might crack due to stress. This would be the same for people to stress out and break I guess, my learning on shaping pottery the first time is that clays take shape in their own time, with our hands guiding the shape “how” we want it, the “when” is dictated by the state of the clay. 😀

    On goals, I think it’s not bad to have goals for short term milestones on things we can control, I try to think of my longterm aspirations as “dreams” (dream board), it’s those things that we want to take shape in our lives but we cannot dictate the when. I agree with you, we should let life unfold in our eyes, but rather than a blank slate, we put up our dreams in that slate and let our thoughts guide our life to take it’s shape. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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