I overheard someone say something this week that really stuck with me...
'Expectations are premeditated resentments.'
Premeditated resentments? Never heard that before. But I started thinking...Can I relate to it? Interesting.
According to the Google Dictionary, expectation is defined as:
How much does all of your stress, anger, frustration, irritation comes from one little thing? If you are anything like me, I would say most of it comes from expectations. When things don't turn out as we expect them to, we find ourselves wishing things were different.
We build these expectations in our head of how others should act, how things should go, and what our lives should be like. Most of the time, it is never exactly how we pictured it or how we think it should be. So, inevitably we are let down, angry, frustrated, etc.
Is there a solution to this madness? Perhaps.
"Act without expectation." - Lao Tzu
Live your life without expectations. What does that mean? It means to accept reality as it is, people as they are, without trying to force things or people to be the way we think (or expect) them to be. It is a life where we don't need to be angry or frustrated - or if we are, we accept it and we let it go.
We can act in a way that is in accordance with our values, influence the world, but never have an expectation of how the world will react to our actions. If you do something good, you won’t expect praise or appreciation. Do good because you love doing good, and expect nothing beyond that.
Now, I am not going to act like this is easy. We shouldn't beat ourselves up if we have an expectation. We can acknowledge it, then let it go.
Notice if you start to wish things weren’t the way they are. If you wish someone didn’t do something, notice that. You have expectations, and you wish people or the world could have met them instead of doing what they actually did. Now accept things, and move on.
I plan on making a daily effort to see the positive side of expectations. For instance, if we expect more of ourselves, we often get it. If we fail to meet our own expectations, just learn from it rather than dwell on it.
That just might be how we keep from forming anger and resentment.
"I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path." - Dalai Lama