Lowered Expectations...Really?

perspective Jun 13, 2018

I remember the skit on Saturday Night Live, to be honest, I remember the sing-song intro to it a lot more than any of the actual skits.  The tune stuck with me (just like the Juicy Fruit one) and I think of it every now and then.

I’m usually reminded of it when my husband, Matt suggests that life would be so much better if people just lowered their expectations (specifically me).  Wait - what?!?!  Sorry buddy, but I’m here to live a kick-ass life and for that, I shall raise expectations.

Right?  Wrong!

You see the problem with expectations is that they revolve around the future, which you can’t control.  So… maybe… Matt is on to something here.  For a goal setting, listing making, gettin’ shit done kinda gal like me, this concept seems very counterintuitive.  How does one lower their expectations and still achieve great things? 

Lowering expectations doesn’t mean lowering your standards.  A standard is “a basis of comparison; an approved model”.  So if you set a standard with regards to how you want to be treated or what you need (or want) to live your life - go for it.  There is nothing wrong with identifying what you will and won’t accept. 

When it comes to your goals, expectations actually have nothing to do with them.  You see a goal requires your effort to achieve a result.  It’s about putting in the time and energy for a specific outcome.  Weaving in details about how you think you will achieve the goals or what you may or may not have once you reach that goal is where the expectation part starts to creep in.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making a plan and creating a vision; just make sure you keep those ideas in the “options” category not the “concrete expectation” category.  Your job is to focus on the outcome, not the details of the journey.

Lowering Expectations Doesn’t Mean You Roll Over

In fact, it’s the opposite.  If you have a set of standards and if you are clear about your goals (and why they matter to you); you have a path.  Simple.  Getting caught up in the details is where the problem starts.  Details can quickly turn into expectations and you can’t always control them.  You may want to have an incredible meal with your Partner on date night but maybe you can’t get it to the place you wanted to go or the chef is having an off night.  If you simply focused on the goal of having the date night and enjoying time with your Partner, none of that would matter.  You can go on and enjoy your greasy, cheesy nachos at that craptastic bar instead.

unsplash-logoNadi Whatisdelirium

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