(Estimated reading time 1 minute)

Expectation can be a powerful force. It is often unidentified and unspoken, an invisible energy directing the flow of our lives. There are times when it can be good but more often expectation is the riptide that pulls you too far from shore, the wave that sucks you under, the blinding beam of light that leaves you unable to get your bearings. A part of every relationship and often a cause of stress and striving, discord and disconnection, expectations are an intricate blend of our past, what we value and what we think is true about the world. Even when we try to identify them up front, we seldom nail down the true form of our expectations until they have revealed themselves as an unexpectedly violent storm that leaves us adrift somewhere we never expected to be.

So what do we do if we find ourselves marooned on the relational island of unmet expectations?

Exchange our expectations for appreciation.

Expectation is our strong belief that someone will or should do/be something. Untangling the why of our expectations is less helpful than simply choosing to change our focus. The new focus, appreciation, is one part recognition, one part gratitude, mixed with a pinch of enjoyment. It is finding a way to see the value in someone and to treasure their good qualities. It is choosing to let go of discontent, disappointment and disenchantment.

Trade your expectation for appreciation and your world changes instantly. (Tony Robbins)


Photo by Zach Guinta on Unsplash

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