Life without expectations

Do you ever feel frustrated when things don’t work out? I know I do. It can be as easy as planning to get up early and then sleeping in, or wanting someone to help you only to find they’re busy, or planning a barbecue only for it to rain.

I believe most of our disappointments and dissatisfaction from life comes from our expectations. Our expectations of how our lives should look and how they should turn out. We can try and control as much of the controllables as we can but invariably life will conspire against us. Man plans, God laughs, right?

We don’t live in a vacuum.

Take crossing the road for instance. At any crossing in central London you usually have an onslaught of people coming the other way. Everyone’s aim is to cross as quickly and in as straight a line as possible, through which, chaos ensues and everyone has to duck, dive and weave to what’s in front of them.

This is not to say don’t have goals or an idea of what you want something to look like, just don’t put it all on a pedestal. Allow yourself margin for error and freedom to sidestep. Rather than focusing on the end-goal, instead look at what actions your can take daily to enable you get towards it.

We get in our own way because we have expectations of how we think something should look first before we attempt it. And that hesitation is what keeps us from committing. It’s never going to look how we think it’s going to look, and if we could just allow ourselves to surrender to that premise, we would be more likely to act.

Things often don’t work out. You have to get over that fact. Things don’t work out! (Or rather, the truth is: Things always work out, but not the way we plan, control, or prepare. So for most of us, that means things don’t work out.)Anthony Meindl

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