The Paradox of Expectations


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“Work hard, you’ll succeed and be prosperous.” What if you do not?

“Study well, get straight A’s; you will land a great job and have a successful career.” What if you do not?

“Follow your passion and you will find success.” What if you do not?

These are ingrained expectations and notions that we grew up with and we continue to pass it along to our children. How sure are we of these? Did your life turn out the way you expected? Did these assumptions work to your expectations? Did you not hit a wall, feel around and find your own way? If not, you are a rare anomaly and I would like to hear your story.

The truth of the matter is that everyone seeks security, shuns insecurity. We all need a great paying job, a nice house to live in, a well fed family, kids in good schools preparing to live the secure life similar to what we wanted, if possible, better.

There are expectations and guarantees needed. If I do this, I need to be assured that. Not just assured, I deserve that! Anything that takes this plan off course causes pain, frustration and doubts. Where does the issue lie?

It lies in setting expectations and seeking guarantees. Is having an expectation wrong? Not at all. Aspirations are good for progress. Have them; imbibe them in your kids. But, leave the path to be traversed open to freedom. Show the path, don’t give guarantees. Show examples of doing what begets what but don’t make promises that you do not have control over.

Freedom to think, act and achieve should be left to the aspirant, the doer. Freedom is costly, comes with the promise of facing fear, risk and failure. But, it also provides the excitement of doing something phenomenal and reaching goals that are new, exciting and further lay the road for the next adventure. The excitement of the unknown, the tension of seeking it out is what living fully is all about.

Do not embrace of preach complacency, don’t draw boundaries with expectations based on performance. With expectations, come disappointments upon not meeting them and as a result, de-motivation. As a result, with the lack of further pursuit, you only fail once.

Leave it as open as the wild, wild, west with no promises of what’s out there. Just know that you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime and you might walk away with the treasure. Well, if it doesn’t happen the first time, you now have lessons learned to keep going forward and those lessons applied, pave a different path taking you on a new adventure, with newer rewards in sight. With a failure behind, there is nowhere to go but forward, for success beyond, eventually to seek out that success.

Seek freedom, pursue freedom, attain freedom for what its worth.

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Stupid and childish, I don’t think so!


In the recent past, we have seen several scams and high profile issues where the accused come out and say how much they regret what they had done and that they were stupid and childish to have done so.  Stupid, yes; I can understand that but, why is stupid followed by “childish”. They were guilty and highly irresponsible and in no way childish.

This generation’s children and for that matter, of those before are/were hardly irresponsible. Stupid and childish should not go together. Children in fact are responsible for their age, are innocent, endearing and have all the right qualities that adults aspire for. Children are smart in ways beyond we can imagine. They are like sponges, always learning and imbibing from their surroundings. They may be naïve and lack experience in the ways of the world, but their heart and mind is in the right place. These scamsters and wrongdoers are in no way inexperienced or ignorant of what they were doing. Only when caught, they express their regret which once again goes to show their lack of true remorse. How can such actions be considered childish?

The character of children is malleable. As I stated before, they are like sponges, always learning from their surroundings which further helps chisel their character that goes on to shape their lives. All children are innocent and have an affinity for what is good and right. It’s amazing but, there is a lot we can learn from our own children. It is not about age or experience, it’s about a clean mind and heart and an affinity for love, peace, togetherness and harmony in life. First, its these basics one can learn from them. Further, we can learn transparency, tenacity, conviction and other such virtues from children. On second thought, it is actually a blessing to be childish. The definition of childish should not be representative of immaturity that is used to depict immature acts of adults. That surely needs to change! Don’t you agree?