Experts, Expectations, and Getting What You Want In Life (Episode 259)
Let's face it - we all do it - write stories about what we expect to happen, and get mad at those "experts" that make seem look so easy. We all have expectations for how we want life to go, and it can be hard when no one else seems to have the same idea. It can be frustrating trying to pinpoint the one expert with the one right path that will be your perfect journey.
Who are the Experts?
Oftentimes when we're looking at what we want to create in our own lives, we look for the "experts". But what does that really mean? Are we looking for that one "golden example" of perfection to model after? Some people believe you are considered an "expert" if you've read three books on a subject. This is how I define an expert -
An expert is someone who has pursued knowledge and real-world experience in a specific subject...and is continuing to learn and refine what they know. I don't view an expert as someone who knows it all. A true expert is someone so passionate about their area of focus that they continue to learn and refine through their whole life.
And an expert in one area doesn't equal a saint in every other area. We can be quick to attack anything we don't align with in someone else, and in the process, we sabotage the opportunity we have to learn. For example, our family loves the game Cashflow, and I've even devoted a whole podcast episode to that topic. Robert Kiyosaki created this game along with many other ventures. And I, personally, don't agree or like all that he does or is focused on. That being said, I see the value this game has brought to our family and I'm grateful for it. You can glean the good and let go of that which doesn't serve you.
Our Personal Expectations
We have expectations about ourselves and about others. We can write stories all day long about how things will go, or speculate on answers, but the reality is, we can only solidly own our own emotions and reactions. The variable of every relationship and how they respond will influence how your story plays out.
So look at what expectations to hold onto. Instead of setting the expectation that I'm going to enjoy a cup of hot tea and reading a book in quiet solitude in the morning, I'm going to set the expectation that I'm going to greet my morning with peace and gratitude. Why is this so critical?
Because I'm a mama, that's why! Because I have three variables in the forms of daughters who may wake up with needs/desires that may shift my morning.
Because I'm a wife, that's why! Because my husband and relationship with him is important, I'm going to be talking with him, and if there is something important he wants to talk about, I'll gladly put my book aside and have a conversation.
Because I'm an animal-lover, that's why! Because we choose to have a zoo in our house with animals and fosters and the wildlife outside, and something one of these animals does may be so insanely cute (or make such a mess) that my morning is focused more in this direction.
There are so many variables outside of us that are still legitimately important. I can have all the desires to be a perfect wife and mommy...once I've wrapped up with my set agenda - and then be angry at everyone all day long for the interruptions they've caused that I'm not really showing up as a loving wife or mother at all.
The only shift was that they were cramping my plans and unaware, vs. me clearly communicating how I can best show up. Not saying anything to the family, and just hoping they'll patiently stay out of my hair until I deem my to-do's "checked off", is a recipe for disaster and frustration all around.
What truly makes up who you want to be? Is it about checking something off a list, or digging deeper into the emotions, the character and integrity you want to emit?
When we don't communicate with others on what we're doing, we sure as heck can't be mad at them when they move forward with their own plans. When my husband Nathan was in real estate, he worked on a team and had Thursday as his free day. And inevitably, he would have clients calling him every Thursday while we were focused on family time.
I finally asked him if his clients knew it was his day off. Nope.
One little shift - he simply gave a heads up to his clients that Thursdays are his family day, and that was that! From that time forward, it was rare he got any calls on that day. It wasn't that people were abusing that time; it was simply that it hadn't been communicated.
How many times can we write stories of frustration with others simply because we had set an agenda and didn't clue anyone else in on it? If there is anything important that you DO want to do, make sure you've communicated it to those variables that may impact it - like your family or colleagues.
Focus on the True Goal
And sometimes, we need to let go of the nitty gritty details that end up not going as planned, and focus on those bigger picture feelings.
Instead of setting the expectation of quiet and solitude in my home full of kids and animals, I'm setting the expectation that I will have a peaceful and grateful heart, carrying the calm within, regardless of the crazy around.
Instead of setting the expectation that we're all going to greatly enjoy this event we've been planning for, I'll pay attention to what is fully in my control - my own enjoyment and appreciation. And that can be way more contagious to spread to your family than your resentment and frustration trying to make everyone else enjoy it.
When I let go of my expectations out of my control - like my children's reactions and emotions - I'm able to flow smoother and faster than constantly getting riled by all the variables around me. I'm able to stay focused on what I know I can control in the path toward the light and positivity I want to create around me vs. my anger at what isn't going as planned.
"To let go of does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassions, things come and go on their own." -Jack Kornfield
Be open to receiving in a variety of ways. It may be you're looking for a peaceful morning, and instead of it being that book and tea, it's a child snuggling in your lap while you watch birds come to your feeder. Let go of the packaging on how you are given things, and be open to the good you can find in it.
And pay attention to the "experts" - recognize there are many out there who are deep into their passions. It doesn't mean you put them on a pedestal. They are not perfection. They are simply passionate about learning more. So glean what you can from them. Take the nuggets of goodness, and let go of the rest.
Seek out the positives that fuel you forward - in what you learn from others and what struggles you face - and choose today to let go of those things that manifest as resentment, anger and frustration in your life. And recognize we're all learning on this journey of life together - sometimes we'll bump up against each other and it's rough. Yet we can always learn. And in the process, we can recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste.
Some additional resources for you
- What is our purpose for money?
- Letting Go Of The Agenda...and Managing Expectations (Episode 148)
- Can I Afford It? Cashflow and Financial Savviness (Episode 202)
- Money can’t buy…
- Money, marriage and mountain lions (episode 58)
- How Are You Going To Pay For Your Party? (Episode 53)
- Which Wolf Do You Feed? Work & Finances (Episode 23)
- What does freedom look like?
- Our relationship to money
- Tendencies, Unmet Expectations & Personality Clashes (Episode 137)
- When Routines Are Off And Expectations Are High (Episode 83)
I'm here for you. From free resources to full on 1-1 coaching for your unique situation, you aren't alone.
You invest in toys, date nights or Disney. When was the last time you invested in something to get intentional with your family connection?
Mama Says Namaste is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.