We often set expectations on others and ourselves. Most expectations are set high and when they are not met we get disappointed. What if we decide to have no expectations? What would happen if you didn’t expect anything at all? Imagine going on a trip to some far off land you have never been to before. There are no brochures, no maps, and no one else to tell you about this place. Already you have no expectations because no opinion was given to you. Once you arrive you discover that the place is the most amazing place you have ever been to. The smells, the views, and every sound is perfect as anything could be. After spending several fabulous days throughout this beautiful and magnificent place you have to return from where you came from. On the way out you turn back to get one final glance of the most glorious setting you’ve ever experienced. While getting the final look around you notice a sign and it says, “The worse place on earth.” But how could that be? You think to yourself; I was there. I know it was the complete opposite. You go home and tell all your friends about this place and all the experiences you enjoyed in this far off land. One of your friends tell you that they know what place you are talking about and they begin to tell you about some awful story about this place. You still wonder, ‘How could that be? I thought it was great.’
The following year you go back to the same wonderful place and you remember the awful story your friend told you. As you walk through all the same spots you visited before you revel in delight because you experienced them before. Continuing on, you keep hearing the words of your friend and the awful story about the place. As you keep thinking about what your friend said you start to notice little awful things about the place that you never noticed before. You begin to look around and notice more and more the not so magnificent things about this place. Even the things you thought were magnificent are now looking not so magnificent. What happened?
Your expectations were set high because of the wonderful experience you had the first time. Then you heard the awful story about this place from your friend. Expectations were lowered and you noticed them. The whole idea here is that setting expectations gives us limitations, bad or good in our experiences. If we have no expectations we will experience what is and we won’t be disappointed. If we have no expectations and something good happens that’s great. If we have no expectations and something bad happens we deal with it but we can’t be disappointed because we weren’t expecting anything. We are more capable to ‘roll with the punches’ when we don’t expect anything.
Challenge yourself today and remind yourself, ‘I will not expect anything today.’ See what happens. It might just be.