I’m a planner.
I’m a goal-setter.
I love the strategy that goes along with discerning a five-year strategic plan.
But in addition to my goal-setting-strategic-planning posture, I’ve found that I also need to embrace the discipline of having no expectations.
The things that frustrate, anger, and irritate me have one thing in common: I don’t like it when what I expect to happen doesn’t happen.
I have expectations of how other people should drive…how my husband should load the dishwasher…and how my boss should respond to my job performance. And more often than not, my expectations prove to be a fanatical fantasy.
Unfulfilled expectations create disappointment. But no expectations equals no disappointments.
Growing up, I learned to “expect the best” and all will work out. And even as an overly-optimistic person, that mantra has not panned out all the time.
Setting zero expectations means that we are open for more creativity in the moment, as well as the unexpected surprises that never disappoint.
I recently got married. The other day, someone asked me what goal I was excited to accomplish during my first year of marriage. I thought for a moment, before happily realizing that my main goal for my first year of marriage is to practice not having any expectations. But to take it day by day. And learn, and grow as a couple.
William Shakespeare wrote that “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” By minimizing unneeded expectations, I hope to minimize heartache at home, as well as in the workplace.