102 comments

  1. Dear Eric,

    Yes, your comment to catcat is so true: ‘self-flagellation, I’m sure, rings true for many of us out there, especially when we have those, at times, preposterous expectations.

    I agree, having expectations can be good and can be the driving force to getting things done, but without the homework and hard work, they remain nothing more than fleeting false dreams and wishful thinking.

    Thus when things don’t pan out, we become disappointed and tend to glance about for the ‘root cause’ of our misery.

    Methinks the mirror remains the perfect place to peer into and not to our peers.

    warmest wishes, good Sir!
    Paul 🙂

    1. Hello Paul,

      Wow! You came back all the way to 2013. I wonder how that happened. But glad that you did.

      Yes, expectations by themselves are doomed to fail if they are unreasonable and if one does not work to realize them. And when things don’t pan out as expected – the mirror would be the right place to start looking for the root cause.

      Trust and hope that matters are beginning to pick up. Will be dropping by your blog a.s.a.p. Till then, keep well, my dear friend,

      Eric

  2. Just luved it…..The blaming part comes ’cause of expectations ….& I m seeing a lot of this nowadays within my own friend circle…….Some go even to the extent of deep depression……Before pointing a finger at others ,there is a finger pointing at u ,too…….I tell them, why, in the first place expect something from others…….Is ur happiness dependent on others ? U ve ur own strengths, just work upon it……
    Wonderful sharing as I cud completely relate to this post………

    1. Thank you , Rajesh.

      You are so right – we see this blame game all around us and perhaps we are also guilty of it at some time or other. Yes, you mention that old Indian saying about one finger pointing at others and three pointing back at the pointer. I have a rejoinder to that – to behave like the thumb – look down in humility.

      Thank you for your presence here.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

    1. You’re very right – nothing wrong with expectations per se, as these drive human endeavours and progress – but the level and timing of expectations need to be reasonable. That of course, opens another door – what is “reasonable”. Oh, well —

      1. Okay, read it, about your local government. I’ll post my reply here as when I tried to post a comment, it opened another window.

        Yes, we have a similar setup in Singapore where “Town Councils” are responsible for local municipal deliveries. We as voters have every right to frame our “expectations” based on the electioneering promises of candidates. If they don’t deliver, we vote them out. That is the theory but reality is something else.

  3. The German word for disappointment is “Enttäuschung” which is the word “Täuschung” meaning deception, or illusion plus the prefix “Ent-” which connotes – in this context – a reversal of the deception or illusion. So we have deceived ourselves through the creation of an image about the ‘future’ – an illusion – and then we have the task of reversing that mental/emotional image when we are faced with the reality of the fact that doesn’t correspond to our projected image (expectation). http://heartflow2013.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/were-limiting-ourselves-through-expectation/ ☼ tomas ♥

    1. Thank you for your visit and that link – thoughtful of you.

      “…internal reflection is the only way to navigate your way out of it…” – how very true.

      Have a great Sunday, Tomas

      — Peace, Eric

    1. Very true Janna,
      If we are brutally honest, much can be traced back to source – but it is so much easier to see the problem as created by others.
      Peace, Eric

      1. Ah, yes, then that would answer my question apropos: who is the master – the writer or the reader!
        Sunday I shall dedicate some time to read Eric’s world !
        Love & hugs to you, my dear friend.

      2. Hello my dear,

        I recall that post of yours. When we say “master” of course, the opposite is not slave – not in the context of reader-writer. Would it be “follower”.

        Or perhaps with writer and reader – it’s more a “partnership” or better still, a “union”, as one feeds off the other. Great writers rely as much on enthusiastic readers as readers are enthused by great writing.

        Semantics perhaps but worth a minute or two of thought.

        Till Sunday, luv and hugz from
        Your doost 🙂

  4. Mornin Eric – My husband has been teaching me about the word expectation. He tries to live without them and is seldom disappointed. When we have had expectations about things and things didn’t go like we expected we tend to get hurt, resentful, angry and spiteful.

    1. Good morning,

      I like your husband even though we’ve not met. I totally share his approach.

      Sometimes, I too find myself setting unreasonable expectations. But hey, we’re still young and will get there.

      Cheers,
      Eric

  5. Oh my gosh, this is so true, Eric! Our expectations can really affect our moods if they’re not met! Loved this question…Should we gaze into the mirror, before we look out the window? Great post and message! Hugs and blessings…

    1. Lauren my dear,

      I’m not surprised you spotted it right away.

      If we are honest and take the time to reflect, in most cases the root cause can be traced to our expectations. With lower expectations, we are mentally prepared and can make contingency plans.

      Thank you for your ever loving presence here.

      Hugs and blessings to a dear friend,
      Eric

      1. You are very welcome, Eric, and also right about being more mentally prepared with lower expectations. That is the truth, my friend! 🙂

    1. You said it Christy B,

      Reasonableness is the way to go – and this changes with situations and the level of life experiences.

      All good wishes my friend,
      Eric

  6. Outstanding I must say..we know this ,we perhaps realise this in our subconscious state of mind and yet we falter and commit the sinful act of ” expecting”.We would all have attained “Nirvana” had we reached that stage where nothing matters- we are united with our souls and we exist sans anything.Unrealistic..Unachievable..do not know but still seeking an answer ..:)

    1. Thank you for your visit and comment – the first here, I reckon.

      I wonder whether having an expectation per se is “sinful” but perhaps you use “expectation” not in its literal sense.

      You are right, it is wonderful to harbour the expectation that once we reach a “stage where nothing matters” – we attain “Nirvana”.

      You’ve touched on several interesting issues. Thank you for making us think.

      Peace, Eric

    2. Yes..this was my first time Eric. It is true that I did not use the word ‘sinful’ in its literal sense – I used that term mainly to just bring out the essence of wrong that is related to the term’sinful’. We reget every time we commit a wrong act and similarly we are remorseful when our expectations are not met making us regretful at the end. I am a deep thinker- I love to tinker with social and emotional intelligence issues- hence such profound thoughts.
      Keep sharing and enriching our lives and minds !
      Thanks,
      Swati

    1. Isn’t that right, Susan – and we have all been guilty of that at one time or another.

      I am struggling to shed that and must say, it is looking better every day.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  7. Taking your brush stroke my lovely buddy….there is no blame, it just ‘is’ and we are all responsible for our thoughts, words and actions. Dreams are the wings of the soul and expectations are the stones that weight them down. Much love and hugs to you Xx

    1. “Dreams are the wings of the soul and expectations are the stones that weight them down” – this is a quotable quote my dear buddy, Jane.

      Luv and hugz flying to reach you from here,
      Eric 🙂

  8. I know what you’re driving at, but when those QM outcomes are not positive and a person is responsible for that after being trained and given latitude for some mistakes I’ve had to discharge them. I can say I was disappointed in those individuals who were nurtured and failed constantly and I was disappointed those vital outcomes were not met. My last job was to reengineer a large hospital and you don’t mess around with people’s lives.

    1. I think where we go wrong is when we expect all humans to perform to specs. If you expect that some will fail and that you will need to discharge them, you won’t be angry at the way the world works and you’ll be living with the truth.

    2. Hello Ian,

      It is always becomes clearer when we speak of specifics. I think we are in agreement and perhaps because we share similar experiences.

      I interviewed, recruited and trained people – given them all the tools and cut as much slack as deemed reasonable without resorting to favouritism. But a time comes when I had to admit that perhaps I made a mistake with my initial selection. Then, I had to let them go – hard and it hurts, true – but we learn and progress. My sentiments have always been – “You are not cut out for this job, but all it means is, you need to find a job that suits you”.

      Over 35 plus years, I’ve also come across five who were unprincipled and risked the lives and limbs of people – these I’ve fired without hesitation. Unfortunately, two of the five were my hires. This was in aircraft maintenance and people’s safety (in aircraft and on ground) were at stake.

      I believe you’ve read this post > http://wp.me/p1YE83-HI

      All good wishes,
      Eric

    3. Actually when I took over as hospital CEO the board wanted to sack the CFO but I pleaded with them to let me work with him for a term as I’ve always sought to add value to persons who worked under me along with improving organization. We re-engineered the hospital with consultants working with teams from each department and he tried his best but eventually I had to agree with the board that he was out of his depth in that job. I believe the failure of a person under my charge is a failure on my own part and had to indicate to the board I could no longer help that individual. Reengineering is a painful process for any organization as you are taking people out of their comfort zone into experiences they are not familiar with. It requires very sophisticated goal communication methods to enthuse the troops and a willingness to let people go who are unable to make the transition. We always offered training in another area when letting them go rather than abandon them altogether. I’m sure you had the same experience.

      1. I believe in this case, the root cause was certainly not your failure – and it was not that CFO’s either – it was the failure of the people who promoted and confirmed that man as “CFO”.

        Supervisors promote a person until that person stagnates at his/her level of incompetence.

        What I did was to promote and push a person until they reached their breaking point – then, back them down a notch. That’s what “probation” is all about. The person then performs at his best. This is an on-going evaluation and the most important job of any CEO, as I saw it.

        What usually happens is a person is promoted based on his “past” performance with the silly assumption that he will do just as well at the next level. When the person fails, he becomes the “deadweight” – very unfair and a loss of real talent, when we lose him.

        The value and buffer provided by “probation” are routinely overlooked by HR, CEOs and Board’s that ought to know better, I reckon.

      2. That’s right. There was a book on reaching the level of incompetence wasn’t there. Thanks for the reminder. I’m off to town now. Talk with you later.

  9. I love this! We had someone bringing us around Cali once and whenever we asked where we were heading to next, she’d say “Do you like surprises?” She didn’t want to tell us anything ahead because she didn’t want us to have expectations to which might not always be met. And that leads to disappointment. How thoughtful of her.

    Good one Eric. 🙂

    1. That was very thoughtful of her, Jonny.

      What a lovely person she must be. And you guys did well by trusting in her and her judgement. I’m sure you had a blast and am happy for you all.

      Thank you for the visit and sharing this unique “tour” – good one.
      Eric
      P/s Fixed that “say” 🙂

  10. Hi Eric,
    Personally I like to blame the dog, at least it can’t answer back and appears to still love me unconditionally even after I’ve blamed it (so long as I keep it’s meals coming regularly). Truly: man’s best friend.

    Nice thought provoking post.

    Cheers

    Chris

    1. Now, why I didn’t I think of that!

      But, in my quest to be holier than thou, I’ll do better – I’ll get myself a goldfish. A dog can give you the “look” – you know what I mean. The “sad” look, the “you’re out of your mind, bud” look, “I’m going to tell on you” look. What’s more, I don’t have to walk the goldfish.

      Yup, goldfish it will be for me 🙂

      In a more sombre note, I appreciate your visit and comment Chris.

      High five,
      Eric
      P/s I agree with your recent post – plate, bowl and scoop sizes do affect how much we eat. Unless you use fingers and eat off a banana leaf –

    2. Fingers and a banana leaf…that’s a nice way to eat. The best curry I ever ate was this way in a little restaurant in Singapore.

      Goldfish: good idea, no barking either!

    1. Ah, Soumya dear,

      I was on-line when your comment came through.

      You are right – expectations when high, can be stumbling blocks. Interestingly, some place the bar higher for others.

      Peace, Eric

      1. ! Thanks for the prompt reply I think you should create a book of such quotes that are presented in your format..will be an instant hit!

      2. LOL! You are too kind.

        There is one lovely lady friend – Eva – who keeps insisting I must start my own “church”. She loves to tease me.

  11. If I take this in the literary sense, yes we get “shock” everyday from what is staring back from the mirror – first come the expectations, then the disappointment – LOL.

    Too much of self-reproach may not be healthy also. Reflect and analyse, remember to do it better the next time. For me, what matters is that we recover fast, move on and be optimistic. Both expectations and disappointments are part of our emotions. After all, life is a never-ending lesson though some may be “slower” and needs “re-run”. LOL.

    1. Truly said Jasey,

      Starting with the person in the mirror, we venture further, until the root cause is found – usually hiding among the roots. We then learn, put matters right and move on.

      Reality is – most are quick to externalise the problems. You see this in the office, family relationships, everywhere.

      Some do swim against the tide – and from these people, we learn.

      Peace, luv and hugz,
      Eric

  12. I think expectations are good, they are human, its only the unrealistic ones that break us down when they fail, and often end up hurting others..like they say if you expect a fish to fly you will be dissapointed

  13. Eric, this one is a teaser. I have expectations and am disappointed when things go wrong so maybe I need that mirror but then I am not angered by people and outcomes. I suggest that disappointment does not have to be synonymous with either blame or anger. If mankind didn’t have expectations we would still be living in caves – to this day there are still disappointments construction.
    As always it is a good thought provoker, thank you.
    Cheerio, Jane

    1. Hello Jane,

      Deliberately vague, true. I could have thrown in “reasonable expectations” and that would take off into what constitutes “reasonable”. You are right – disappointment does not have to lead to blame or anger – but it usually clouds one’s emotions or thoughts.

      Nothing wrong with expectations – but perhaps not so right when we expect “one outcome” – something that reflects our expectation.

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric

  14. A difficult question to answer when posed so broadly. It depends upon so many possible things.

    In america and much of the “western” world, a great many people do not form their own expectations. They are manufactured for them by a marketing/propaganda/indoctrination apparatus that would turn Goebbels green with envy.

    They are, in most cases, purposefully set unrealistically high. The golden ring is always just out of reach. But, if you do this, and behave thusly and look like that, you too may achieve those expectations.

    And the only way you can do all that is to buy all these wonderful things that we have so fortuitously created for that very purpose.

    Yes! If you can afford it, you too can live up to your own prefabricated expectations!

    We give you the expectations for free! What it costs attempting to live up to them will keep you in debt until the day you die! Sometimes even beyond!

    In a great many cases the person in the mirror is the only one to blame. In easily as many cases there are powerful extenuating circumstances.

    Just my opinion.

    1. All you say is true Richard.

      Herd mentality, weak resolve, fear, anxiety, insecurity and more – all drive us to do “things”

      I believe it starts with the person in the mirror and then spreads out. Some believe the problem starts out there.

      The thrust of this haiku is, where does it “start” and not where it is at now.

      Peace, Eric

    1. You know Carl,

      I actually burst out laughing when I read your comment 😀

      That is probably the best way to analyse a problem, starting with self and working outwards.

      Peace, Eric

    1. Oh, Cat,

      Too much self-flagellation might be detrimental to one’s peace, happiness and health. Moderation perhaps – rewards when due.

      Peace, Eric

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