Managing Expectations

One of the biggest causes of frustration and disappointment in life is the unrealized expectations of other people’s behavior. “Why won’t my: customers, suppliers, kids, spouse, employees, friends, and so on, act the way I think they should? They never will, so relax and let it go.

You can never be happy if you’re attached to the expectations or outcomes you have for other people, no matter who they are.

The execution of all behavior by others is in their hands, not yours. This is not to imply you should never have expectations. Rather to say that if you want to spend a lot of time and energy being disappointed, then continue to expect others to do, whatever you believe, feel, or think they should according to your standards.

Sooner or later everyone in your life will let you down, including friends, parents, spouses, kids, bosses, customers, and even a faithful relative.

To manage your expectations means that you understand and accept that other people are doing the best they can, at any given moment, with what they’ve learned thus far on the highway of life. We’re each learning every day, either by accident, design, or on purpose…but we are learning what life wants us to learn about life, relationships, people, business and so on, right now.

Keep in mind that others are not deliberately setting out to disappoint you, upset you, make you miserable, make you angry, fearful, or whatever…they are just being themselves. You don’t have the right or obligation to expect another person to live their life according to how you believe they should.

Of course, you can hope, ask, beg, and rant & rave, but in the end, people are who they are, believe what they believe, feel what they feel, and act in a way consistent with all of these.

Managing expectations also requires we learn to understand and accept others as they grow through the individual lessons life has thrown in their path, in spite of our attitudes, feelings, or beliefs. They may not always act as we would have, or we think they should have, but that’s just the way it is…it just is.

Consider – do you want to live your life according to other’s expectations? Most of us wouldn’t.

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