Get Rid of Expectations.

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“Forget what we’re told,

Before we get too old

Show me a garden

That’s bursting into life”


These lines from “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol ring in my ears when I’m down in the dumps, thanks to a habitual cheater called “Expectations”. You know, it hits me every time I trust this cheater. Much like those bosses who are a total pain in the neck. You do things for them and they don’t give you most of the credit. Or any, in some cases. But the folly of human life is such, that we don’t learn from our mistakes. And in the meantime, we don’t see the views from the journey. Only dullness and morbid images prevail upon us.

When defeated by expectations and other such “vices”, if I may call them, we tend to become sad and dejected and refuse to get out of our beds for a while, and then after sometime, we pursue that unyielding prize. Where is the time to stop and think? Time is running out and we are left with so much to do.

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It’s when we are continuously hit by waves of failure and dejection, that we realize something is wrong. That is the time when we understand how foolishly we have been heaping our hopes on things not meant to be for us. It’s the evil of keeping expectations. It comes from childhood impulses when we are given and fed whatever we want, thus leading to a kind of instant gratification that gives us the impression of achieving whatever we want.

We want to rise up, higher than the towering buildings that block out the sunlight, taller than the trees that form a canopy… We fail to realize that along with our ambitions, are rising the level of expectations that we are keeping. Be it from ourselves, other people, an institution or maybe from God. The last person mentioned is usually remembered when we are wallowing in self-pity and crying out-“Why? Why is this happening to me? Why have you put me in this situation?”. Fair enough. God did give us the mind and with it comes the pros and cons.


But seriously, how is it possible for us to realize that we are expecting too much from life?

It’s when you don’t or rather can’t give up something that is hurting you or hitting you time and again. Just like we try to interpret the signs of our body and understand what has gone wrong, life sends us signs as well. It’s our duty or rather necessity to interpret it as early as possible. Failure and hurt are among these symbols. Repeated failure is an even bigger sign of something gone horribly wrong. But we are so blinded  in our efforts to get back on track, that we keep walking the wrong way. It’s when we get hit by a pillar, bang on the face, that we realize it was the wrong path to take. Unfortunately, in life, some roads are so dangerous that it’s difficult to change course.

Take for example, our literally unreal expectations from children giving exams. Or rather the expectations of the parents. Students are under pressure to perform well and when they don’t, or rather when the parental expectation doesn’t match with the result, all hell breaks loose. This period of broken hopes and dreams, results in an immense sadness and despair and loathing for the self. the damage done to the mind in these fits of sadness is irreparable. It’s our mental strength that keeps us going. Keeps us from losing ourselves in the flux of delirium and hopelessness. We think we might be able to move past it and start afresh, but the scars and wounds, both remain fresh.

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That’s the problem with our illnesses and depressions. Instead of choosing to learn from past mistakes, we continue making them. In the same order. It’s like a vicious cycle. It’s also addictive. We just can’t give up our expectations. Parents, in their old age expect to be taken care of, just how they take care of their children. More often than not, it doesn’t get fulfilled and their frail minds are further broken at this despair. We do things with an expectation, or rather, with vested interests. Trouble starts when we start thinking that what we are doing is absolutely right and perfect. Perfection is a relative concept. So are the notions of right and wrong.

Today’s generation is much more ambition-driven and thus are more expectant of the results. If only they would stop thinking of the end result and just give their efforts sincerely. It might be easier said than done. If only we could just be conscious all the time and not think of the past or future when doing what we are supposed to do. Consciousness is the key to happiness. It’s what keeps us aware of the present and stops or rather prevents us from flitting between the past and future.

“I’m not a perfect person,

There’s many things I wish

I didn’t do

But I continue learning…” 

This should be our attitudes. In doing so, we can stop that mean boss called “Expectations” from battering us again and again. That way, we will be able to see the gardens that are always bursting into life.



Believer. Reader. Brooder.