Each and every person we meet in our life has their life under construction. One’s life has its own struggle, its own goals and the effort they put in is different than what we go through in our life. Here you and I experience life differently. What lessons we learn from the struggle we went through, how much positivity do we need to pull us out from that wet sand we got ourselves into and how much expectations should we keep, every person has a different magnitude of such elements and so the after effect Varies in everyone’s’ life.
Lord Krishna while guiding Arjuna through the ultimate battle of Mahabharata said,
“Arjuna, You have control over your action alone, not the fruits of your
action. So do not be drawn to expectation or inaction.”- Bhagavad Gita:
Chapter 2, Verse 47.
We should always see our life as a sea of consequences
wherein we have very little control over what happens in our life but full
control over how our mind perceives it to be and how it deals with all the
complications life has to offer. We say,
Expectations are the root cause of all the heartaches and that is believed to
be true but why do we let our mind control the good and bad part of a
situation? Aren’t we stronger than any phase of our life? Why do we let our
work be compared to an imaginary standard or benchmark which we ourselves
created that leads to the feeling called expectations? And when that benchmark isn’t crossed we start
to think that we failed ourselves, we couldn’t surpass our families
What is the expectation?
It is when we start to believe things we see around ourselves and center that thought as a benchmark or a scale on which we desire our life to be. We start to compare, we start to dream about that something to might happen in conclusion to action, and we start to idealize it. For example, when we see someone getting into a prestigious college, we feel if we do exactly what they did we can get through the same university. We start to expect that we deserve this and when it doesn’t turn out to what we assumed would happen it leads to disappointment and heartache. We somehow forget that there is always a gap between an expectation and the hard reality.
Expectations and Reality:
Much of life’s problems and disappointment starts when we start to compare our reality with something that’s missing in our life. Like, “ I wish I was taller, I expected my life to be better, why did I scoreless and my friend who didn’t even study as much as I did got more? Why does every time I tend to lose?” Whenever we expect more, a question arises and it keeps us going through one loop thus keeping us unsatisfied and always hungry for more. We always confide ourselves to the boundary of our expectations which takes an emotional as well as a mental toll on us. Our reality is much bigger than this. We have many opportunities, situations that can keep us feeling more content and satisfied. Only if you see expectations as a dream and not tell it to rule your mind only then can you actually feel complete and not altered by your presumptions.
Expectations and Relationships:
We as humans expect a lot from someone keeping them ahead of ourselves. We think if we fulfill their expectations and they in return get to do the same, life will go on pretty much smoothly but we forget that we are just complex humans who are still working on ourselves and are still in progress. One failed expectation leads to so many heartaches as we build our relationship on the basis of it. Our heart and brain fail to coordinate and we keep on losing faith in ourselves. One needs to live a life that has balanced, reachable expectations turned into dreams and a reality check beside us. We start to build our emotions over a weak foundation of expectations and trust a tower of cards not to fall.
You cannot control the actions of others when it comes to
living in social life. People perceive situations differently; their level of
understanding is different than yours and what they think is right may not go
down well with you. We expect them to understand something as effortlessly as
we read them but it’s because your thinking process is different than theirs.
It’s more developed and thus one doesn’t base their trust on assumptions. The point we miss here that expectations fail when we stop communicating with people, to ourselves, and forget to deal
with every situation differently. We start to compare, evaluate, and conclude
with an outcome that is based on a stencil made out of mere expectations and dependency.
Here enters heartache keeping you chained down with the low life expectations
you had from someone or something making you feel smaller than everyone else.
There is no such thing one cannot conquer keeping in mind the right degree of
motivation and determination. You may fail once or twice, you might not be
able to fulfill your families’ expectation or your friends’ but until the drive-in you keeps you alive no amount of
heartache masked itself as failed expectations, assumptions related to work,
relationship or career can keep you away from being in the driving seat of your
Acceptance and resilience go hand in hand. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese word which says that one needs to find acceptance in the imperfections and incompleteness everything that is present in our life. Resilience, on the other hand, is an ability to deal with setbacks and lost expectations. The more resilient we are, the easier it will be to pick ourselves again and get back to what gives meaning to our life.
It is practically very hard to live a life without expectation because human psychology always wants more, longs more something better than what we are currently having and tends to get us tangled in our own messed up and unrealistic expectations from people, be it from work, relationships or even from our family members.. But there is one thing we can do and that we stop expecting things to fall into places according to our needs and not let the failure and heartache rule our life because of our pleasures and desires are never a problem but the power we give to them actually drives our life to different impending decisions failed expectations and heartaches that push us into a bottomless abyss and then there’s no turning back.
So accept every moment as it is originally meant to be and believe in the fruits of your perseverance. Believe in the ideology of nishkama karma, an act without expectations. Seek control over your actions and not the reaction or the outcome.