Its December 23rd, two days before Christmas, a day you have been so excited for. You picture your family waking up, smiling from cheek to cheek, possibly even singing your favorite song in harmony. Breakfast is perfectly prepared, by your wife, husband or even your kids, who woke up early just to surprise you. Everyone, after opening their presents, are saying things like thank you, I love you, this is the best Christmas ever.
I think you get the picture. This might or might not be a realistic expectation of the day to come but no matter what, it’s an expectation, because it’s something we are wanting and somewhat expecting without giving anybody else, free will or room for error. . By doing this, we are unfortunately causing false expectations, for the ones we love, hang out with, work with or just see throughout the day. By setting expectations in advance we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and most importantly we are never in the present.
We are living a life in our mind instead of what’s really happening (reality). If we do this too much, we lose our ability to find special moments in the now because we’re too concentrated on how the day is ruined from what you thought it should look like instead of the beauty of what it actually is.
Being depressed or anxiety ridden is a horrible feeling. We make it worse by expecting the worst before we even have to do anything. So then in turn we don’t do anything. We don’t change our lives, we don’t learn, we start to live in this false reality of expectations that will never happen. We are always disappointed, the world is against me, I am stuck, etc….. It’s a cycle you have to change, you have to be part of everyday without expectations of bad or good. Be in the present knowing whatever happens throughout the day you are willing to learn, laugh, smile, cry, play, or do whatever you need to in the moment but then leave it there and move on. A moment doesn’t define who you are, it’s the ability to learn from that moment and go back to living in the present.
Don’t get expectations and goals for your life mixed up. They are very different. One is good and the other one you need to stray away from. A goal is great when you realize it can change and adapt but it will never be a disappointment because you expected it. Goals make you move forward towards something you want but the best thing about goals. Goals don’t need to be achieved for you to feel successfull, it’s what you learn from trying to achieve that goal that brings success. Some goals you’ll get, some you won’t, but the power of what you learn from trying to achieve them is the magic, the purpose, the meaning of who you are becoming. Don’t let the disappointment, of an expectation of finishing a goal, ruin the true happiness of what that goal has done for your life! You are better off today then you were yesterday because of that goal and the purpose it has given your life.
I wish I would of known the power of this message a long time ago but the good news is that I know it now. I didn’t expect to be a stay at home dad. I didn’t expect being depressed for such a long time. I didn’t expect to be sick for 2 1/2 years in middle school, I didn’t expect to go from making 150k a year to unemployed, I didn’t expect a lot of things. The power of getting older is the ability to look back on your life and see things that seemed truly horrible at the time, turn out to be some of life’s true blessings.
Life and this world has always been, it will always be and will always go on without us but how we perceive it in our head is the only true power we have in this world. So stop making expectations for your life and go out and live it, as it is now. Have a heart to learn and not be afraid but be willing to love and love unconditionally and without fear. We are in this together so let’s all help each other live our best life.
Have a Merry Christmas or whatever you choose to celebrate. Hold onto your loved ones, meet new friends, and be there in the moment. You’ll be truly happier. Love you and hope your journey gets better and better.