“Expectations are blossoms; few only mature in fruit.”
Emperor Ye-Wang (attributed)
Good morning, friends! What a cold day it is where I live! And here I thought winter was gone. Silly me! I hope you are comfortable where you are. Let’s get to it!
Tuesday past the early weather forecast showed a high probability for four to seven inches of snow Saturday night. Few things excite my sons more than a snow forecast. As the week progressed the forecast vacillated on the projections. By Saturday the projection was for an inch or less and by Sunday morning there was nothing but cold sunshine and two frustrated boys. “Why,” I asked, “be frustrated for the loss of something that never existed in the first place?” The clear culprit was expectations.
As a management principle expectations are a top-down, micromanagement technique (expect what you inspect) that typically end in de-motivated employees. As a relationship principle expectations are a virus that kills. Consider yourself; don’t you want to be embraced for who you are, not rejected for who you are not? Our quote makes the point. Expectations are inner projections that rarely eventuate in reality.
I find that my own expectations usually result in disappointment. I expect a friend, neighbor or family member to behave in a certain way, yet when they behave in their own way I am disappointed. I have expectations for customer service, drivers, pets, everything. It seems that my disappointments frequently stem from my expectations. How about you? Why be frustrated by the loss of something that never existed in the first place? I can’t suggest that any of us eliminate expectations but I can suggest we become aware of the connection between our expectations and disappointments, frustrations and angers. And when we do we might salvage some important relationships. (Just not with my cat…!) Do you have any relationships on the fence? Check your expectations; it might make all the difference. And have a great week!