Meeting Your Expectations

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”Don’t blame people for disappointing you, blame yourself for expecting too much from them.”

Imagine you have a shiny red apple sitting in your fruit bowl. You pick it up eagerly, take a bite, and begin to taste it….

You already know how an apple should taste, and so when this one is a more tart than you expected, there is a sense of disappointment, dissatisfied.

Or perhaps the apple tastes exactly as you expected – nothing special at all. So you swallow without even pausing to enjoy its flavour, and you move on with your day.

In the first scenario, the apple was disappointing because it did not meet your expectations. In the second, it was too plain and unexciting because it met your expectations exactly, rather boring.

The biggest disappointments in our lives are often the result of misplaced expectations of how things are supposed to be. Letting go of needless expectations is your first step to happiness. Try to come from a mindset of peace and acceptance, and you can deal with almost anything and grow from it.

It means learning to be aware of when you have these expectations, ideals and harmful fantasies. It means learning to see the irritations, anger, sadness, anxieties and mood swings as signals of the expectations you have and did not notice.

Again, that takes practice. But that is the joy of it. If you remove the expectations you learn from the trying, you grow and improve gradually. Step by step. And along the way you begin to notice, appreciate and enjoy what actually is.

‘Do not enter where too much is anticipated. It is the misfortune of the over-celebrated that they cannot measure up to excessive expectations. The actual can never attain the imagined: for to think perfection is easy, but to embody it is most difficult. The imagination weds the wish, and together they always conjure up more than reality can furnish. For however great may be a person’s virtues, the will never measure up to what was imagined. When people see themselves cheated in their extravagant anticipations, they turn more quickly to disparagement than to praise. Hope is a great falsifier of the truth; the the intelligence put her right by seeing to it that the fruit is superior to its appetite. You will make a better exit when the actual transcends the imagined, and is more than was expected. ”
Baltasar Gracian

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