Disappointment is born from having expectations.
If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present. — Lao Tzu
It makes sense then to say that it is best have no expectations. But that is an impossible task for most. Expectations are part of our nature and also part of a more generic term we define as either hope or faith. I prefer using the concept of hope over that of faith because faith requires a greater leap in expectation with little or no valid evidence or logic with which to support. Faith also implies a certainty in something which cannot be certain. Hope is better because, although it is, in some ways similar to faith, it does not require or ask for a certainty.
It is hard to let go of expectations. I sometimes wish I followed my own advice. I cannot help but do it sometimes. Maybe I just demand much of myself? Maybe. But I am getting better with each following day. I big part of what would make me sometimes blue in the past was because I had certain expectations that may have been rather fantastical. I believed if I did A then B would happen or maybe C. I never expected nothing to happen or the exact opposite of what I wanted to see happen. I created my own misery because I had created a belief that reward would follow. But each thing we do is a lesson. My past stubbornness helped me learn to expect less. Sometimes just doing something we love is its own reward.
It is better to not have any expectations.
Don’t expect to become famous. Don’t expect to become rich one day. Don’t expect to fall in love and live happily ever after. Be happy with what you have. If you’re not happy with what you have then do something about it. Don’t waste time wallowing in what should have been or could have been. Live in the moment of now.
When you start trying to live for the future or start comparing the present to the past as opposed to what you thought would happen then you set yourself up for failure. There is nothing wrong with failure. It is okay to fail. Fail every day. But try to learn from each failure. Fail up and not down. Fail with courage to fail again.
Living is in itself a reward. With disappointments comes wasteful thinking. Don’t set yourself up for the big disappointment. Set yourself up to enjoy the moment you have. Because once the moment is gone you will never have it again. That’s the funny thing about life. You can’t go back. You can only go forward.
Originally published at www.jordanaubryrobison.com on February 24, 2014.