BY: ADRIAN SMITH
I’ve already re-written the first few lines of this article more times than I can remember because nothing’s come out the way I imagined it. I thought I’d share a personal example of how living with expectations ends with my disappointment. Obviously that hasn’t worked out. Nothing I’d put down satisfies my expectation—which is exactly what I’m advocating against.
It’s hard going into things without a purpose and some idea of how it’ll all play out. It’s hard to leave your expectations, however genuine, at the door while taking part in whatever’s happening in front of you. But if we were to somehow learn to live presently—absolutely presently—without projecting our ideas of what we’d like to happen onto the moment we’re living in and without thinking forward or elsewhere while things are happening around us, we’d find ourselves less disappointed or unsatisfied with the outcome.
At times I wonder if it’s even possible to do that—to drop premeditated ideas and dive wholeheartedly into each specific instant. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t have expectations or set any for ourselves—expectation at its core isn’t bad. Some people find it motivating to strive towards an ideal, perfecting their craft, their approach or themselves to fit that image. But there’s a difference between setting a standard for yourself and living with that aim in mind. The latter takes you away from a simple conversation because you’re worried about or thinking of something else entirely as someone’s speaking to you. The latter brings you into dates with an end goal instead of an open mind.
Living with expectation keeps you from writing the right few sentences in order to struggle through the perfect few sentences you’ve already decided on. We need to take things as they are while they’re in front of us, people as they are instead of what we imagine they might be. Let’s let go of our intentions and learn to just appreciate the freshness of reality.
Image source: istock.com