If you lower your expectations, you’ll never be disappointed.
Okay, we’ll never is a slight exaggeration, but at least you’ll be disappointed less, right?
I mean, anything is better than the constant disappointment you feel. Now, don’t even try to act like you aren’t disappointed regularly, because unless you are somehow immune to all of the day-to-day stressors and challenges facing the majority of middle class America, your expectations are likely not being met consistently.
I get it. Many of us (myself, wholeheartedly included) are “disappointed” about the dumbest sh*t, and when we actually sit back and take perspective of everyday situations and our lives as a whole, we absolutely should not be complaining. Yet, since I know most of us still will, I’m going to continue on…
So, let’s begin here:
Lower your expectations for yourself. Seriously — give yourself a damn break. While I am an absolute proponent of us setting high expectations for ourselves, we often set unrealistic ones or ones that are only achievable in the long-term. Keep those if you want, but be sure to set some lower, short-term, more readily achievable goals that you can build upon.
Lower your expectations for your parents. If anybody deserves to be cut some slack, it’s your parents. While it can be hard to be understanding of those from a different generation who often have vastly different ideas than you, they have earned the right to have your respect. If you are a parent, you know all too well how hard the job is, and they deserve credit for raising you (and your siblings if you have any), and that credit should be given in the form of unconditional love and compassion for them, as well as lowered expectations and acceptance.
Lower your expectations for your spouse. We all deserve to be treated well, no one — I mean no one — can behave the exact way we want or expect them to. Take into account that you sure as heck are likely not a “sweet peach” at all times, and be more tolerant of your spouse’s less than admirable traits.
Lower your expectations for your relationship. Your relationship is being tested daily by work stress, parenting stress, day-to-day life stress… the list goes on. As long as your relationship is 80% respect, love, and fun, accept your relationship for what it is and be allowing of it to suck 20% of the time.
Lower your expectations for your children — when they are children. What do I mean by this? That our children have enough pressure from society, their schools, and their friends. While we need to be our children’s encouragers, motivators, and cheerleaders we most definitely do not need to be another presence that they fear disappointing. With most everything, there has to be a balance.
Lower your expectations for your friends. They are busy with their life, and if they are ever not as present in yours as you would like, understand why.
Lower your expectations for your life. It will disappoint — not always, but it will. You must find a way to deal with life’s less than favorable curveballs and find lessons in them. Although life will throw you lemons, the lemonade it will deliver you will be that much sweeter.
Lower your expectations for your work-life balance. You may find it and you may not — but guess what? You will survive and push through regardless. You may experience days with more balance and days with less, and that is more than okay. Remember what is most important, but also the rewards of hard work.
Lower your expectations for the general public. They don’t suck as bad as we all like to think and talk about. Respect everyone you run into and make contact with, and treat everyone with compassion. Maybe if you start to do that, the next person may too, and the next, and the next, and then maybe we wouldn’t have such low expectations of one another.
Lower your expectations for your home. If you have kids or simply an extremely busy life, your home will occasionally (or in my case, always) be in disarray. Find a way to live with the fact that your home is not your life — the people in it and your collective experiences are.
Lower your expectations for any outing going as planned. Find humor in plans getting messed up. Find adventure where you once didn’t. Find a way to accept life as it comes.
What usually disappoints you each week? It doesn’t have to this week. Make a change.