“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” ~ Michael Jordan
As we sails the seas of our life, it is important to always remain aware that we are the owners and the captains of our ships–only we can determine where we sail. There may be some who will attempt to commandeer our vessel or to steer us off course, but we do not have to let them–the expectations of those around us do not define us unless we allow them to do so. We define our own destiny; and that is why we must strive to define and reach our own expectations.
Most expectations have been formed over time–in the ways that others have done things and through our own experiences. But expecting others to do things in the same way does not respect the uniqueness of the current situation, nor does it take into account their own individuality. For instance, perhaps a parent desires their child to take over the family business when they are older. He or she might have good reasons and intentions, but unless the child truly wants to be in that line of work for the long term future, he or she should not let their parent’s vision undervalue their own; the same can be said for living a life of poverty, mediocrity, negligence, or ruin.
Realistically speaking, no one else can devise a set of expectations that match your unique self. Nobody knows the life you are living, and nobody else knows what your dreams, goals, and abilities are. Thus, other’s expectations are artificial at best and destructive at worst, and it is up to us to be realistic as we decide whose expectations we truly should follow.
Develop your own expectations and make them uniquely yours. Your life is yours to live, and it is important that you do so on your own terms. Yet be aware of what is expected of you from others–especially if you are providing a service to them–and be sure to live up to those expectations in a respectful way.
Define some of your own personal expectations.
Questions to consider:
Do you ever find yourself trying to live up to other’s expectations? If so, how often? Why?
How do we develop the expectations that we demand others to follow?
Are there situations in which expectations of others are a positive thing?
For further thought:
“To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves–there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.” ~ Joan Didion