The Danger of Expectation (PART 2)

“High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations.” – Charles Kettering

“I respectfully, wholeheartedly disagree with Sam and Charles.”

– Mel Crane

To read Part 1 in this series, click here.

So many quotes out there suggest that having high expectations is the only way to achieve in order to create our best life. The only way? I completely disagree. I don’t even think it’s the best way. Of course, achievement is a massive part of a happy life, but does it equal happiness? Not necessarily.

Does having lowered expectations equal complacency and a lack of progression? Not necessarily.

Is that our fear? That if we set lower expectations, we won’t achieve anything, or we won’t become the person we’ve always dreamt of becoming?

I’m here to prove that you can achieve incredible things whilst nurturing your ongoing happiness, and you don’t have to scratch and claw at consistently high expectations to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly a place in this world for high expectations. Many of human history’s most notable figures have spoken of the importance of setting expectations high. Going after huge goals has its benefits, including large pay-offs, however, my goal is in discovering and inspiring ongoing happiness. Not just sporadic happiness but regular satisfaction with life and the things we achieve on the daily. If you’ve found that like me, having high expectations is damaging your self-worth and overall sense of happiness, then I suggest lowering expectations, making them more realistic, and putting them into achievable, short-term goals. In doing so, you are far more likely to accomplish great things, on an ongoing basis.

You can accomplish and be happy. It’s the best of both worlds!

It all begins with total awareness.

Be Aware of Your Expectations

On a scale of one to ten (one being totally non-existent, and ten being totally un-realistic), where do your expectations lie?

Are they so high that they’re putting enormous pressure on you? Are they damaging your self-worth?

Let’s have a look at where your out-of-reach expectations may be hindering your happiness.

Your Head

Are you expecting to:

  • Never make the wrong decision?

  • Always think and act rationally?

  • Be consistently productive?

  • Never procrastinate?

  • Never have a negative thought?

  • Always cultivate a growth-mindset?

Let’s remember that we’re only human. We can do our best, but we can’t do it all. Sometimes emotion takes over and we act irrationally or say things we regret. Good news – that’s why the art of apologizing was invented.

We can set a huge goal to always be the best person we can be, but we must be kind and forgiving to ourselves when that doesn’t happen.

We cannot allow our self-worth to be hacked away at every time we don’t meet expectations.

Your Heart

Are you expecting to:

  • Ignore your triggers?

  • Control your emotions at all times?

  • Understand your feelings and emotions, and know exactly why you’re feeling a certain way?

  • Always listen to your gut instincts?

  • Be authentically you, 100% of the time?

  • Choose love over fear in every moment?

It’s a wonderful thing to live from your heart-centre, but it’s human nature to have our brains take over from time to time.

We can set a huge goal to always act in accordance with our heart, but we must be kind and forgiving to ourselves when we let our brains take over and make brash decisions.

We cannot allow our self-worth to be hacked away at every time we don’t meet expectations.

Your Body

Are you expecting to:

  • Drop fat?

  • Fix gut health?

  • Eliminate sugar?

  • Improve fitness levels?

  • Quit smoking?

  • Stop drinking alcohol?

  • Lower your cholesterol?

  • Right now?

Some things can be done right now, but it’s unrealistic to expect perfect gut health in a month, when it took 25 years to get into the state it’s currently in. It’s unrealistic to quit sugar and expect to never touch a block of chocolate again.

We can set a huge goal to become the healthiest version of ourselves, but we must be kind and forgiving to ourselves when we don’t do that as quickly, effortlessly, or smoothly as we would like.

We cannot allow our self-worth to be hacked away at every time we don’t meet expectations.

Your Spirit

Are you expecting to:

  • Try something new every day?

  • Excel at your hobby or creative pursuit?

  • Have your passion be your job?

  • Contribute more to your community?

  • Be present?

  • Garner loving relationships?

If we had it all together, 100% of the time, we would learn nothing. If we had only perfect relationships and excelled at our chosen hobby, where would our learning opportunities come from? How could we grow and improve? Not only is expecting near-perfection unrealistic, it’s completely detrimental to our growth.

We can set a huge goal to live life to the max every day, but we must be kind and forgiving to ourselves when we have an off-day. Because we will, and that’s actually a great thing.

We cannot allow our self-worth to be hacked away at every time we don’t meet expectations. (Am I sounding like a broken record yet? Good. That’s the point).

On the other side of the coin, are your expectations so low from a severe lack of self-worth that they’re stopping you from doing the things you’ve always dreamt of doing?

You need to be aware of exactly where your expectations lie, and whether they’re helping you or hindering you on your happiness journey.

If you severely lack self-worth to the point that you make zero expectations or goals for yourself, that’s something you’re going to have to change immediately. That’s another blog for another day.

Find the Happy Medium

“Happiness is equal to or greater than the events of your life, minus the expectation of how life should be.”

– Mo Gawdat

I will always go back to the above quote.

If our expectations are far too high, all of the time, then we will not be meeting our expectations on a regular basis. Therefore, our happiness will not be ongoing, but sporadic and in line with our infrequent feelings of achievement.

If our expectations are far too low, all of the time, then we may be lacking self-worth and feeling an overwhelming lack of achievement, simply due to the fact that we don’t try at all.

So, where is the happy medium?

I believe it’s found in focusing most of our attention on realistic expectations and turning them into realistic goals. The kind of goals that you have to really stretch to achieve, but they most certainly are achievable. They ensure constant progression, regular achievement, and ongoing happiness.

The regular achievement of realistic goals will one day add up to something huge; something you’ve always dreamt of; something magical. And the best thing? You’ll be celebrating every tiny win along the way, with a big, fat smile plastered across your face.

I hope you all enjoyed Part 2! Part 3 of this series will look at the expectations we place on those around us, and how they may be damaging our relationships.

Stay tuned!

Love & Happiness

P.S Do you know someone who could really benefit from reading this? To give them the motivation and push they need to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of the young people around them? Share this post with them. Even if they don't embrace it straight away, you've done your part. Thank you.

P.P.S Check out some more content to really take your life and your family members lives to the next level!

  • YouTube Weekly Tutorials: Click here

  • The Happiness Equation & How It Changed Everything (Blog): Click here

  • Selfless? Or Lacking Self-Worth? (Blog): Click here

  • Are Your Dreams Setting You Up For Failure? By Andrew Baggio (Blog): Click here

  • 5 Steps To Fantastic Leadership (Blog): Click here

The next step:

Commit to being the change, and get started on my IHH 10 Days of Gratitude Challenge. Sign up now to receive your FREE copy. I made it especially for you :) (and not once did I let Adobe InDesign beat me! Ok, maybe once…)

From here, get involved in my whole-family approach and register your interest for the IHH Weekly Workshops ONLINE (for adults) and the in-person, Interactive IHH Weekly Workshops (for kids). Both programs launching early 2017! Note: Registering your interest does NOT lock you in to anything – it simply lets me know that people want to make a change, and gives me an idea of when and how I need to make it happen.

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