In one of my favorite lyrics, musician Ray Wylie Hubbard says, “The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, those are good days.”  I think it goes without saying that gratitude is an amazing “happiness strategy”.  Check out this post to read more.   Expectations, on the other hand, get us in trouble.  The expectations we have of ourselves and others are one of the quickest ways to get frustrated and disappointed.

I have found that we get frustrated when people don’t meet our expectations when, in reality, most of the time we haven’t even clearly communicated what our expectations are.  Think about the last time you were frustrated with or disappointed in someone.  Chances are, it was because your expectations weren’t met.  Did you clearly communicate them?

I once had a friend who said he was never disappointed because he always kept low expectations.  I think Ray Wylie Hubbard is on to something.  This holiday season, don’t forget to keep your gratitude higher than your expectations.

I’m curious to know if you’ve found this to be true.  Leave a comment here or join us on Facebook to share!

8 Comments

  1. Happy Monday Anne! I feel like you read through me. I am so guilty of setting high expectations, then get frustrated. Thank you for the tips. You are awesome! Have a great week! 🙂

  2. I also have been accused of setting high expectations. With 4 children at home and a department of 40 at work, communicating my expectations is a constant effort. Thank you for the post.

  3. I don’t know if I agree with this… Sometimes, having low expectations leads to self-fullfilling prophecies in our lives and in the lives of those that we have low expectations for… I would much rather learn to be err on the side of having my expectations TOO HIGH and learn to appreciate whatever the reality turns out to be than to have my expectations TOO LOW and risk setting someone up for being less than their true potential. (Aim for the moon… Even if you miss, you still land in the stars!)

    • Very good point, Michelle! I don’t mean that you should have low expectations or your self and/or others, only that you communicate what your expectations are so that everyone is clear. I think when people disappoint us or fail to meet our expectations, it’s not that they are too high, just that we haven’t communicated what they are in the first place 🙂

  4. One of the Four Noble Truths at the heart of Buddhism states that the root of all suffering is desire. Once I figured out that “desire” means expectations, that whole philosophy suddenly made a lot more sense to me and provides a useful perspective — life is not ideal, and events, things, people (you name it) frequently fail to live up to our expectations. So maybe we shouldn’t sweat it. 🙂

    It definitely helps to figure out what you want and articulate it, and it’s even better to look for unexpected blessings.

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