Have you seen these memes saying something to the effect of, “Don’t expect anything and you’ll never be disappointed!” Who’s buying this? I’m not.
Sure, if all you want out of life is to never be disappointed, a “no expectations” mindset will do the trick. But do you order at a restaurant anticipating a bland meal? Cheer on your sports team assuming they can’t win? Take a vacation thinking it’s going to be a waste of time and money?
Of course not. That would be like driving with your eyes focused just past your car’s hood ornament, trying to keep track of the road right in front of you. Everything you feel under your wheels would startle you…you’re not looking ahead to anticipate traffic or potholes or pedestrians. No one drives that way!
So why would anyone live that way? A hood ornament optimism is reckless and foolish. It may create an illusion of driving excitedly in the moment, but in reality it leaves you exposed to all kinds of dangerous and unnecessary surprises. If you’re never disappointed, you’re never looking beyond your own bumper.
Shake off false-feel-good gratefulness and artificially-induced optimism. Think like a pedestrian: raise the bar high enough that you won’t trip over it. Finding yourself repeatedly unexpectedly face-down on the ground dazed and confused is no way to go through life. <smirk>
Here is a mindset to celebrate the end of this year and embrace the next:
- Live with passion.
- Embrace positive energy.
- Make the world a better place.
- Give your best and expect as much in return.
- Believe everyday the world is better than the day before.
- Live reflectively, thoughtfully, and deliberately with intention.
- Touch others in ways that have a positive impact on both you and them.
- Consciously choose who and what you keep in your life.
- Keep your eyes on where you’re headed.
- Give 100% in everything you do.
- Be patient with your self.
- Live without regrets.
- Make no excuses.
- Raise the bar.
- Never settle.
Are there letdowns? Of course. Disappointment is just the difference between where you set the bar and where you find your footing. It’s necessary…a gut check that helps you reassess and recommit to do better. It’s not based on what anyone else does…it’s defined by you and the standards to which you hold yourself. If you’re never disappointed, you’re not expecting enough.
And when you surpass your expectations…faster…higher…stronger…you are genuinely gratified, fulfilled and proud that you have grown and made a measurable difference. No kidding. No low-balling No settling.
Set high expectations for yourself beginning now…right now. Keep your eye on where you want to be…not on your hood ornament…and drive towards that destination. Expect more!