102 comments

  1. 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

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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” 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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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