Many of us proceed through life with multiple expectations. We have expectations of others and expectations of ourselves. Sometimes we voice our expectations, other times we keep them to ourselves. The difficulty is meeting the expectations, spoken or not.
The question that I often ask myself is why should I expect anything. If I live my best and others live their best then what else is needed. But, even this is an expectation for everyone. I think that our lives evolve because of expectations and desire. For example, my wife expected me to care for her and our family. I had the desire to meet or exceed her expectations so I pushed myself hard to ensure I did not disappoint them. What would have happened if she and I did not have any expectations of the other? How would our lives be different?
I thought about the difficulty of
meeting the expectations I have for myself and the greater difficulty of meeting the expectations that others have for me, or perhaps the expectation I have for their expectations of me. It is a complex web I weave for myself.
Do you want to improve your relationships with others? If so, one of the things you can do is evaluate the expectations you have for each of the others. You then need to evaluate the expectations you have for yourself. Next, eliminate each expectation that you can. This will be hard for there are things you say you have done and then there are the things you have done. So, don’t say that you have eliminated an expectation, instead find out why you hold that expectation. Once you understand the source of the expectation you will be able to address the source and by fixing the source at some point you will realize the former expectation is just a fading memory.
Expectations are physical. We do not have expectations at the soul level. Angels do not have expectations of themselves or of others. God does not have any expectations of anyone or anything. This is another very important point. Religion wrongly teaches us that God has expectations of us. It teaches us that God expects us to admit our sins and ask for forgiveness. Religion wrongly teaches us to put up walls between different cultures and beliefs and tells us that we should destroy others on behalf of God. Because we are taught that God expects things from us we then justify creating expectations of others. Sadly, after thousands of years of constant repetition of erroneous religious doctrine it has become difficult for people to understand the problems we create ourselves by establishing expectations for others and ourselves.
I don’t want to place all the blame on religion, however religion has a significant influence on social and economic development so it can not be eliminated as a major contributor to the creation of negative expectations. I have said before that religion has both good and bad sides so I do not advocate that people throw aside religion. What I am suggesting is the need to identify the expectations we have created and then to begin an active management process that allows the elimination of unnecessary expectations. If we cannot eliminate an expectation we should at least tell people what we expect of them to allow them the choice to try and meet the expectation or for them to choose a different path to follow.