There’s an old saying about death and taxes being the only sure things in life, but there are many things we can expect when it comes to our day to day life. From the side of the road we drive on to the monetary currency we use, expectations about how things work in our daily life give us a useful starting point as we make our way through the world.
Expectations built on tried and true experiences tend to be the ones that work for us. These are “reasonable” expectations, and we have them for good reason. The rare times that “reasonable” expectations aren’t met it usually means that something is out of order and that adjustments are needed. A sign of “reasonable” expectations is that they can change and adapt with the circumstances.

For example, in making an appointment to meet a friend at a certain time, it’s reasonable to be flexible about the time we expect them to arrive. If they are late and don’t meet our expectation, allowing for a late bus or heavy traffic, rather than immediately assuming the worst, makes for some give and take in our relationship with that person without giving up our self-respect.

“Unreasonable” expectations are the ones that can create headaches for us if we let them. These kinds of expectations tend to be based on wishful thinking or poor communication.

For example, have you ever found yourself with a full list of things to do and then decided to do “just one more thing” because you thought it was expected of you? Or, is there something in your life that you want to accomplish that never gets further than being a distant dream, waiting on something (or someone) to give you the money, time or permission to make a start?

A sure sign of “unreasonable” expectations is beginning something for the first time and expecting immediate success, only to become impatient when things don’t happen straight away and giving up. Ask any musician if they could play Beethoven’s, “Moonlight Sonata” the very first time they picked up an instrument. The answer is sure to be, “Of course not!”

Success comes through patient practice, making a start, passing milestones of smaller accomplishments and persevering on the way to achieving our larger goals.

​When we set goals for ourselves based on our own feelings of who we are, what we desire and what we are capable of, rather than conforming to outside expectations, every step along our journey brings an inner glow of personal satisfaction.

Life truly becomes fulfilling when we stop expecting our dreams to happen and start doing what it takes to make them happen.

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