Expectations- we all have them, whether of ourselves, of others, or of the world and life itself. There’s just no getting around it. Really.
In fact, for the purposes of this conversation, I invite you to consider something. I invite you to come with me as we take a look at ourselves through the view called “human being as expectation.” Sound kind of odd? It’ll be okay, I promise- this is not “the truth.” It’s a view of ourselves (and our work, our lives, etc.) that, when taken, may just provide you with something new; like maybe a new insight into your own performance or experience, or a new opening for action where you didn’t see one before.
See, that’s what we do here- we engage in new (and sometimes counter-intuitive) views such that we’re left with new possibilities, new opportunities and unprecedented and maybe even previously unthinkable results. So again, for the sake of what you’re committed to in your work and your life, I ask you to try this on.
Expect: to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of. (Random House, 2011)
Let’s start right where we are: right here (aren’t we always?). Why are you reading this blog right now? I’d imagine it’s because you think that it may prove valuable to you in some way, yes? So you’re expecting it to be worth investing your time and attention in, right? Great (we share that expectation, by the way). Or maybe you’re just bored and have some free time at the moment. Even then, can you see that the very fact that your time seems to currently be “free” is a function of how you’re expecting the rest of the day, week, and so forth to go? For instance, if you had a project deadline four hours from now and five hours of work to do to finish, I don’t think that your time would seem so “free”, would it?
My assertion: Take a close look, and I think you’ll find that who you are (your thoughts, feelings and actions) in any given moment is perfectly correlated with the future you’re expecting. Make sense? Please read that statement again. I’m saying that how you are being in any given moment, including how you feel and what you do or don’t do, is perfectly matched with and reflective of the future that you are, in that moment, anticipating. Is that clicking for you? Or maybe it seems very obvious, leaving you wondering, “So what?” That “so what”, that constant and pervasive concern for the future is exactly what we’re pointing to. And don’t worry, we’re getting to “so what”- but now just notice how you’re now being, and how that is intimately connected with your expectations.