Do you have expectations in life that you are still strongly attached in? If so, there are few things you might want to learn or re-learn about them. If we are a goal-oriented person, most of the time we want things to run smooth or to be well-organized so that we can enjoy more from the essence of them. However, sometimes things might turn out different. Though, it is normal for our brain to expect some results so that in our mind we can project the picture of success of a certain action or idea we are trying to carry out; a kind of psychological security we give to ourselves possibly out of fear of failure or losing something.


However, without being aware of the consequences of expectations we subject our minds to might lead us to further psychological turmoil and disappointment instead. Through my experience, I slowly learned that the best thing to do is to take back the control of our mind from too much expectation to things or situations through awareness about the many possibilities or circumstances that might unfold in your so-called future. I am not good at practicing this yet but I’m sure it really helped me somewhere along my journey. 

Photo: Actenviro | Goals vs Expectations

It is totally normal for our brain to project a possibility but this doesn’t mean it will happen that’s why it is very important to be open-minded and always be prepared for whatever may come. As a person with visions and goals for a kind of community and environment I want to live in, it is normal for me to have expectations. If you are like me who are into non-profit and community works (or even in your personal life), of course you have objectives and goals so it means you are trying to establish, create, or build something that’s why you have certain expectations and ideal outcomes from your actions. This doesn’t always mean a negative trait; some people just want to be mathematical and scientific. And also, these are necessary or required for some situations or actions that have been taken. But with this kind of situation, it will be more challenging compared to individuals who don’t have much anything to do with these kinds of interests and passion. So to think through these seemingly complex conflicting situations, it is really important to discuss how to navigate and what tools should we use to navigate this ocean.

Photo: Philross | Smart Goals

Recognizing and accepting the present moment while transforming them if necessary is one of the first things we must do. Since goals and expectations are projection into the future, one must always remember that the future is not the present moment yet and still anything can happen there. So for a person to enjoy the now and to see how to improve it, one must focus on it with mindful eyes while also celebrate the good things that are part of it. Also, meeting your expectations is really a great thing but you must always remember that our mind can sometimes get so anxious where it doesn’t stop desiring things and the more we get what we want, usually, the more we strive to have some more. If we are not aware enough, in the process this can give us many unhealthy psychological and emotional consequences and will never provide us real satisfaction as we worry and expect for more without appreciating the situation or thing we currently have. Besides, always put in mind that most instant gratifications are just temporary experiences.    

Photo: On Hold | Popular New Year Goals or Resolutions Colorful Sticky Notes On

Another thing one must avoid is unrealistic goals. Believing how things the way should be is a very human thing as our minds have been designed to be like this by evolution throughout unimaginable amount of time. However, the trick is to always recognize the duality of everything in the universe so therefore have some, as what the Stoics call, negative visualization or a sort of. It means that be mindful that what you expect might turned out the opposite of what you idealized; unwanted instead of desired ones. So since you have goals (I supposed and it’s better than having none), just always be realistic and make sure they are achievable. Goals and expectations that are unrealistic are mostly huge ones and usually bigger expectations easily cause burnout so just start small and take things easy but of course, surely! Lastly, you must really be prepared for whatever outcome because the world is not only black and white, so be imaginative and creative and appreciate other colors. In short, just do your best to achieve your goals but do not expect too much.


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