Thursday, August 25, 2011

Toss Your Expectations Into the Ocean - c/o Zen Habits

There's a blog new to my radar called Zen Habits. The site talks about life lessons, goals, health, etc in the form of short articles. It doesn't read like a magazine reads like a therapy session, if that makes sense.

I stumbled across one of the articles called Toss Your Expectations Into the Ocean.

Here's the first bit of the article:

How much of your stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, pissed-offedness comes from one little thing?

Almost all of it comes from your expectations, and when things (inevitably) don’t turn out as we expect, from wishing things were different.

We build these expectations in our heads of what other people should do, what our lives should be like, how other drivers should behave … and yet it’s all fantasy. It’s not real.

And when reality doesn’t meet our fantasy, we wish the world were different.

Here’s a simple solution:

Take your expectations, and throw them in the ocean.

If the above passage doesn't speak to you, then you must be a SuperHuman. I think it's very rare that things turn out the way we intend them to, yet we still hold onto those high expectations. The truth is, we don't know what the future will hold. Will you have an amazing yoga class? Will you get a PR in the next race you do? Will your day go the way you want it to? Who knows?

This is where a dilemma sets in for me. Do I change my mindset to have low expectations and a somewhat pessimistic attitude? That way, I would protect myself from being disappointed? Or do I hold onto those high expectations, full of optimism, and run the risk of being let down? Last year, when I did my first sprint triathlon, I told myself that I would aim for a certain [broad] time range, but I wanted to just have fun. And you know what happened? I had fun! I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face and my time fell within the range I wanted. It was a win/win.

What if I decide to just notice my expectations instead of having them? Instead of putting so much pressure on myself and others, what if I just enjoy the ride? Instead of letting my expectations consume me, I'll just see them. And then I'll toss them into the ocean.

No comments:

Post a Comment