It was a humid Oklahoma evening as my wife and I strolled through a green and lush Mitch Park. We held hands as we discussed our future, creating, building, planning, and architecting our lives. We had beautiful hopes of the future, and there was a magic and excitement in the moment that felt like the first big drop on a roller coaster.
While building our future, we also created expectations for how our life was going to go. Once those expectations were kiln dried in our minds, we held them tightly; never wanting to let go. Looking back, we held on too tightly and ended up with rope burn when life began a game of tug of war with us.
The power expectations wielded over us was so minuscule in the beginning; we never recognized it. We expected to have more children, for my wife to start her Master’s degree and for my career to continue its trajectory to name only a few. None of those events occurred in the way or time we expected.
– Our last two children came from two different countries after discovering we were unable to conceive more children.
– My wife’s Master’s degree didn’t start for another decade, perfect timing for Harvard to create a program meant for her.
– My career went on a trajectory I never imagined after opening my own business.
The ending sounds perfect, but we fretted, worried, agonized, and complained much of the way. Life was hard and unfair.
It was difficult, but we made it more difficult by our expectations. We weren’t open to a greater variety of possible paths and outcomes. When life was offering something more significant, we kept our eyes focused on our expectations.
Looking back, the hopes, expectations and plans we created on that walk were a small cage that was precisely the right size for our expectations.
We were foolish. Most of us are, at times, because we create expectations and want the world and others to fulfill them. We are disappointed, angry, and bent out of shape when our expectations aren’t met.
The company didn’t do this….
My partner doesn’t do this……,
My neighbor is always doing this…….
It is time to reframe your expectations. Each event is a gift you need to trust as you work towards your goals, dreams, and desired life. Every stepping stone may come in a different way and at a different time than you expect. Be prepared! It will be hand-tailored precisely for you if you are willing to let go of your expectations.
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