“On Expectations” (The Problem with High Hopes) Kingston’s Journey #81
But No One Likes Negative People…
It has been said that pessimism is a negative outlook that should be frowned upon. But what if that negative outlook actually occurs?
The natural reaction therefore when told to not be negative is to be wildly optimistic. Look at it this way, most people don’t want to be around downers , so in order to attract people to want to be around them, they are exceedingly positive.
But what happens when reality meets expectations? One can’t expect things to turn out really well when you have no control over the given situation. So when things go south (as they inevitably will) it will be a huge blow psychologically and perhaps physically as well.
High Hopes, High Let Downs
Just like a boxer, no matter how resilient you are, one can only sustain so many blows. So what is to be expected from the person whom sustains too many let downs. Well such individuals tend to become jaded, irritable at the slightest provocation, begrudging when others don’t live up to expectations, at a propensity to snap at the slightest little (perceived) provocation. Not to mention the lost sleep due to all of this sulking.
Letting Go What Can’t Be Held
What is to be done then to remedy such unhappy behavior? Allow me to explain through a story, when I was with one of my hosts in Mexico as a volunteer farmer. I was talking with the other volunteer there. The host was worried that I didn’t enjoy the place and this volunteers response was, don’t worry about it, no expectations.
I didn’t really understand at the time, now I think I have a better idea 4 months later. You’ve certainly have expectations for yourself, so set them high. But other people, you can’t control it, especially if they are merely an associate or maybe a business partner. From being late to following through on commitments, that’s not something always within your control.
So being a little pessimistic about other people and lowering your expectations when there are factor beyond your saves a lot of heart ache.
This new approach of ceasing to attempt control over what is beyond your scope lends to a calmer, more patient, more forgiving and less maddening you.
And perhaps even one that is at peace.
Originally published at http://kingstonlim.com on December 3, 2020.