There is nothing more pleasurable than planting seeds and not knowing, what kind of flowers are going to come up. — Milton Erickson
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt this quarter is to learn to manage my expectations. Experiences redefines expectations, or so I say. But it is critical to remember that we (I) cannot create expectations based on one-off experiences.
All my life, I always had expectations and manage to achieve them. It’s a healthy mix of hard work and good luck. For that I am eternally grateful. On the other hand, it cultivated an unconscious reality in me that expectations will always be met. As you can imagine, life did not pan out as such.
The most painful lesson from the previous relationship was that I am unconsciously having expectations on things outside of my control. For many things, they were expectations of myself, my life and my character. Consciously working on them and reflecting upon them, I am thankful to be who I want to be. It was only through being a “we” that I realised I have too many expectations.
So in Q2, my goal was to mitigate this huge weakness of mine — having expectations of things outside my control. And man, did I work on it. I spoke to many friends about it and reflect on my reflections and why I think what I think. It sounds silly, but it helped when people just tell me “I have no expectations”. It has never once occurred to me that someone can have no expectations on things.
It’s the end of Q2, and I am happy to say that this weakness is less significant in my life now. I work on things that are within my control and achieve my goals/expectations. As for those outside of my control, this is what I do.
Since I understand myself and know when I start having expectations, I consciously bring me back to reality. Meditating helped me to bring my focus back to the present. With that skillset, I bring myself back to reality and stay grounded. I consciously act on my thoughts when I have expectations.
Literally, I tell myself, “Lisa, these are expectations. They are not within your control and the outcome is dependent on another party. Do what you can within your control. And STOP having expectations.”
Silly as it sounds, it works. That’s how things are right, conscious incompetence to conscious competence and hopefully to unconscious competence.
Let Things Grow
The quote by Milton Erickson reminded me of the aftermath when I stop indulging in the delusion of expectations. Sometimes it is just nice to plant some seeds, water them and watch them bloom. There is no need to rush, no expectations on them, we just allow nature to flourish and be whatever it is suppose to be.
That is a nice thought. Sometimes you have to let things go, so they can grow. Sometimes, it is important to recognise our limitations and take control away. Because then, we get to fully appreciate the flower for what they are, instead of being disappointed that they were not the red as expected.
You’ll be the most beautiful kind of flower.