This is the most common word we must have heard of in our growing up years. This was a part of our existence to the core, may be it still is. Every second person from our parents to relatives to our extended family to our work place, everyone had and may be, still have their own list of expectations from us, either voiced or non voiced. (Yes, their are classifications in this genre also). And how can we forget our expectations from ourselves or from others? This being the core of our existence! But what makes it really difficult for us, is to make peace, of others expectations, with our aspirations.
I sometimes ponder that how correct is it, to let your expectations be fulfilled by someone else or in simpler words, why do a person makes his/her life’s mission to fulfill others expectations? Is it out of our love for that person ? Or because of our respect for them? I seriously think that, does really love and respect can make a person devote his/her life in fulfilling other’s ideologies and aspirations over their own? Some will say yes and some will disagree with this. This question holds different meaning to different generations. The actual debate is over the amount of love and respect one should balance so as to fulfill his/her own conjectures also. Expectations use to scare me. I never understood that when people love me so much, why couldn’t they except me the way I am. Why was I expected to do certain things to prove myself every now and then, through my actions or emotions? Be it daily routine activities or special occasions, either I ended up making peace with myself or with others. But I think, that was the part of growing up and initial learning. Because of those little things in life, the teaching of the balancing act of everything from a early stage, by my parents and teachers, I am able to write this complete build up with such ease and courage.
Reality of Expectations, The Choice
Life is very simple and it is the expectations which makes it complicated. There are several levels and stages of expectations in one’s life. From a very early age we are taught by our family, particularly our parents, about their expectations from us regarding studies, manners and way of conducting ourselves socially. During our growing years, these expectations also keeps growing from selection of school and friends to selection of streams, sports and group. Then when it will grew to selection of job, life partner, relationships, maintaining a social and economic image etc, you will not even come to know. Its a never ending race of fulfilling expectations. That was, is and will be the way our previous generations and our future generations, load us with their suppositions. The ultimate choice and level of fulfillment should be purely ours. We all should have the clarity and courage to do what we chose, from the bucket of expectations. The right amount of balance will give us true happiness.
It took me 30 years to realize that the ultimate goal in life should be to fulfill your own expectations first. It could be regarding personal, professional or materialistic expectations as well. It is the most difficult task to do but its totally worth it. And if a person is an emotional fool like me, its even more important to quench your own thirst of expectations more than anyone’s else. It is the key to real happiness. In my life, after a lot of thinking and trying hand at many things, I was able to take up things that I loved and leave behind those I was getting burdened with, be it friends, family or job. You may or may not find that clarity of thought or the courage of fulfillment pretty early in life, but don’t wait when you finally find that, to take a stand for yourself , professionally as well as personally.
Generation of Expectations
I have a personal point of view, which may differ from many others, that personal expectations are more harmful than professional one. This is simply my take and it can be vice versa for others. I have always thrived hard to accomplish certain relationship goals. And that too goals, that were set by others for me. Be it my own family, my extended family or Mr. Husband’s family, I have always tried to fulfill the expectations that were meted out for me. But, trust me, its a tedious task. Until and unless its not coinciding with your own expectations, they are difficult to be maintained. Thankfully, people around me were and are quite understanding, diligent and liberal in their thought process which made it easy for me to go ahead and reach the stage where I am right now. But surely with age and maturity, I realized one fact that there should be a certain limit to the level of expectations one must handle. One should not blindly fulfill others expectations and at the same time, should not put their expectations on others also.
As a person, we tend to forget that while we are trying to fulfill others expectations for us, we are also putting a burden of ours on others. I will not believe any one who says that we don’t expect anything from anyone. They are actually lying. There may not be an extreme limit to it, but to some extend everyone expects something or the other from people around. The other angle to this complete scenario is that these expectations are the building bricks of any relationship. If the expectations are fulfilled, the relation will strengthen but if not, they will weaken. In short, the whole binding of the family and community is based on these expectations. The idea of writing this complete write up is to tell myself and others that don’t forget your life and happiness, in the process of fulfilling others aspirations and supposition. But at the same time, don’t be so inconsiderate of others conjectures also that there is no warmth left in the relationship. The reckoning is what binds a family or a relation together. They give a meaning and goal to our lives. These expectations are just like a medicine in our lives which will be dreaded in the first go, a stipulated dose will keep you healthy but extra dosage will ruin the balance of your system and will be harmful for your health.
Pushing Back is OK
A huge piece of managing expectations is the actual expectation, right?
You have to be comfortable that the expectations are realistic and achievable. If they’re not, you can–and should–push back. The key here is pushing back in a way that balances the organization’s or person’s needs and the abilities. Being open about what can be delivered and what the plan is to bring in the rest can go a long way in instilling confidence and getting the go-ahead. If you can nail the fine art of pushback, you’ve won half the battle of managing expectations successfully.
Expectations could be materialistic also. In the complete write up above, I have mentioned only the personal and professional version, but I cannot forget the materialistic part of it also. This is basically our expression of comparison from our surroundings. It could be school, college, car, bike, house and most important money. It starts with little demands of childhood and grows into the life goals to achieve. Very easily we make, the achievement of these materialistic expectations, our goal in life and our life actions start revolving around this invisible race to attain these things, with others. I agree that some of these aspirations are necessary to move ahead in life but the uncalled competition with others, is what ruins the balance in life.
As it is famously said by Mandy Hale that,
When you release expectations,
You are free to enjoy the things as they are,
Instead of what you think they should be.
So I will close this monologue with a simple thought and quote that
The only expectations you should live up to are the ones you expect of yourself
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