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Set your own expectations

Set your own expectations

You go see a movie you were looking forward to… and it dissapoints you. Someone else goes because of a friend and is pleasantly surprised. Why? Expectations.

We attach our feelings to events in the future (meeting, movie, vacation, work session…). We set the bar.

Then, if we don’t clear the bar, negative emotions flood in.

If we clear the bar, we’re fine or even pleasantly surprised.

In either case, the strength of the emotions is proportionate to the difference between expectation and reality.

In the distant past if we expected to find a watersource for our tribe and there wasn’t one, it meant serious trouble.

Nowadays, the stakes are much lower.

So we should learn to override the outdated software.

Hold no expectation if you can. A movie may be good, may be bad. That’s okay. See what happens.

Or set expectations deliberately low. The deal might fall through, the vacation might be interrupted, the work session might be unproductive. And then plan for that accordingly.

The expectations game is one we play with ourselves. If we’re bad at it, it brings us strong negative emotions. If we’re good at it, it brings us calm and pleasant surprises.

Your choice.