Have you ever looked forward to something and anticipated it to be so amazing? Perhaps it was a trip or a destination vacation that you saved, planned and anticipated for so long. Then it rained, you got sick, or it just wasn’t the trip you had imagined. You ended up being so upset and disappointed. Although having high expectations can be very motivating, it is great to set the bar high for ourselves and to challenge ourselves however, it often leads to disappointment and regret if we don’t meet those expectations.
Or maybe you are more of a cynical person, and you had very low expectations of something or someone. Sometimes, when we have very low expectations of something we won’t even try to do it. If you have low expectations, it can make us lack motivation and energy. We don’t have any kind of dream or vision for ourselves because we don’t believe we can do it and we miss out on opportunities. For example, I recently booked a timeshare trip to the mountains. It was off season and the place I booked looked old and dingy online. It looked like a camp, but it was cheap, and I decided if we didn’t like it we could always leave and go somewhere else. Turns out the place was amazing. It had beautiful mountain views from two different porches. The whole place was remodeled with a brand-new kitchen and a fireplace. The winter views were better to see the mountains without the green trees getting in the way. The weather was perfect for hiking. Not too hot and not too cold. The sun was shining every morning, and we were able to enjoy the sunset over the mountain and the thousands of stars in the sky every night! Now imagine if my low confidence in the timeshare made me decide to not book this trip. How we would have missed out!
My recommendation is to have no expectations at all. Although it is hard to do trying to remain neutral is the best way to avoid stress and missing out on great opportunities. I am taking a class while on this trip and it is a vigorous class with lots of coursework and hours, I must put in. It is stressful to think about making deadlines as I travel. If I have no expectations, I will be unmotivated to get anything done but if I have too high anticipation of completing everything with a month or two it becomes too stressful. So, what if I had none? What if I allowed myself to progress forward each day and just enjoyed the process? Time will tell, I guess. Right now, I feel God leading me not only in my coursework but in life in general have no expectations, live in the moment and He will bless you in that. It’s like walking on a trail sometimes you end up at a magnificent waterfall and sometimes it’s just a small one. Either way it is an amazing part of God’s creation, and each unique path is a blessing to be savored in the moment.
So, what does that look like for you? Is there an area in your life that you are feeling stressed, and you might just have too high expectations? Or maybe there is an area of your life where you have given up and you just don’t have any expectations of anything anymore? Maybe it’s time to give up all your expectations and just live day to day enjoying each moment and looking for the positive in each situation. Somedays it will rain, somedays you will get sick but even in those days look for the good moments. Maybe it’s a cozy cup of tea, your favorite blanket, or a good conversation with a friend. I just heard a quote the other day and I hope it will ring true with you. The man said “I never had a bad day in my life. I have had bad moments but never 24 hours of bad.” Makes you think…it’s not all that bad.