How do you feel when you are expecting a person to do something, and that person doesn’t deliver? Do you think ‘Not a big deal. It happens’ or ‘I should not have asked him in the first place?’
We usually feel disappointed when our expectations are not met. But the problem is us misplacing expectations. We are not born with some right that others are ought to know and do what we expect from them. No, it does not work this way.
To stay grounded and be successful, you need to stop expecting from others. Nobody owes you anything. Start doing for yourself what you expect from others. Here are the things you need to stop expecting from others.
Self-motivation is the best motivation. Nobody can be your 24/7 cheerleader. Once in a while, your friend might come around to lift you up and put some sense into you. That is what friends are for – to laugh at our bad jokes and treat our trivial problems as earth-shattering.
But at the end of the day, it is we who have to figure out what we want from our lives. Set goals and decide how to reach them. Motivation is not waiting around the corner for us to walk by and bump into us. Find something that gets you into motion.
Your experiences are unique. Nobody has walked in your shoes. How you view the world and things around you is different from others.
So when you say that ‘Why don’t people get it?’ You are actually expecting people to look from your perspective. Just as your views and outlook are different, so are theirs. So, don’t expect them to ‘understand’ you. Some might relate, others would just nod their heads pretending.
Let go of this need to expect people to think the way you do. Allow them to form their own perspectives.
So many things can go wrong. Don’t they every day? You promise to get in shape and go out for a jog. But you end up spraining your ankle. No more jogging from now on, you decide. But it could have gone right.
So there are always possibilities – in your life, daily routine, relationships. You can either choose to focus on what is wrong, complain, and bicker or see how you can grow and make things right.
Seek sunshine over darkness. You will light up your life and motivate others to follow their own trail.
Agree To What We Say
Most of us think that our thoughts, our views are important and people should shun whatever they are doing and listen to us. There is so much they are missing out on. Well, you could not be more wrong.
If you want people to agree with everything you say, no matter how much insightful or deep it may appear to you, you are in for a lot of disappointment. What you can do is back your views with data and research to persuade others but even then don’t assume that they will agree.
I would like to mention a quote from Clint Eastwood. It makes so much sense.
‘Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.’
We all wish to be respected, to a certain extent at least. But before we seek it from those around us, we need to respect ourself. It has to begin from within. The negative self talk that we are so prone to starts a vicious cycle of feeling despair and helpless. Respect yourself, and it will set the standard for how others will treat you.
Tell Us What We Ought to Do
This question bothers us so much. It does not matter if you are in your 20s or 40s, the answer to ‘What I want from this life?’ is never easy. Some think of becoming a nuclear scientist cum part-time musician and others of a humble gardener cum crime fiction writer. We want so much from our life, but even after getting what we thought would make us happy, clarity eludes us.
This happens because most of us don’t know what we really want. We are influenced by choices made by people around us, advice of our parents and what is in vogue.
Don’t expect people to tell what you want. Explore your inner compass. If you feel a desire coming in naturally and you are sure that following it will help you lead an authentic life, don’t let it dissipate. Back up your ideas and follow through.
The truth is that we can’t really change people. If someone close to you has been behaving in an intolerable manner and you have to live under the same roof, then it becomes important to let the person know how you feel and what changes you want to see immediately.
Now you will come across many people in your life. It won’t be possible nor desirable to change them. You can either choose to accept them as they are or live without them.
The best you can do is support them, let them chart their own path, and embrace change gradually.
How happy you feel depends on your thoughts and how you perceive things around you. Reduce unnecessary drama and frustration from your life by lowering expectations from others. They don’t owe you anything, and neither do you. So, clear the weed and smell the flowers. I mean, focus on things that matter.
What would you like to add? What should we stop expecting from others?