“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations” – Elliot Larson.
We are taught we must expect things from life and people. We expect things will go as planned. We expect friends will behave in a certain way we approve. We expect life will provide us with happiness. We expect health and well-being.
We want to anticipate to the future by expecting how things will occur. We are blinded by the illusion of expectations of things that have not happened yet.
We expect whatever is convenient for us to feel good and happy. Or if you are gloomy and dark, you expect for things to go totally wrong and negative. Whichever mood you are in, the bottom line is that you define a Box of Expectations.
What people don’t realize is that holding tight to their expectations is one effective way to suffering since we rely on something to happen in a certain way to be happy.
For example, I could say: “Oh, I expect this day will be sunny and I’ll get the perfect romantic date” but what I’m doing with this thought is limiting what happines will be for me. I’m putting all my energies into a tiny box of how things should be so I can be happy.
So, What happens if the situation is different? Following the previous example, if the day is cloudy or rainy, I may feel grumpy or mad. If the date is not who I thought he/she would be, I will feel frustrated and unhappy. Then I would blame the climate “This crazy climate change!” or “This person is so wrong!” or maybe “This place is a disaster”.
It is our natural response to blame others because we forget it was ourselves who defined what happiness was going to be. We forget about that Box of Expectations we built from the beginning.
But not everything is lost…
What happens if I let go my expectations? If it rains, I could say “What a wonderful opportunity to kiss under the rain!” or “What a perfect moment to get closer and cozy!” or maybe “This person is very spontanous!” or “This place is not suitable for rainy days!”.
When you let go expectations, you are open to a whole new different experience. You are not tied to The Box anymore. In fact, you are able to transform the Box. Each situation is as flexible as you let it be.
So, what good are expectations for?
Expectations are the core for accomplishments. Expectations are like a map: you know where you want to go, but soon you realize you can take different routes to arrive.
There cannot be accomplishments without expectations. The key is to be flexible in every situation.
Remember that you are in control of your thoughts, your speech and your actions. You are not in control of your mom, your boyfriend, your teacher. You cannot control the weather, the traffic or things from breaking apart.
Keep in mind that a situation doesn’t define your feelings. You define your feelings. Don’t hold tight to your expectations. If things change, be free to improvise. Be creative and transform any obstacle. Remember that it’s you who can be happy or unhappy if trapped in heavy traffic. Remember it’s you who can decide to sing or to shout.
A hit: People like singers, not yellers.