Expectations. Without even noticing it, right now as you sit - wherever you are in the world - I can promise you that you are suffering from the 10,000 myriad ways in which expectations can undermine your life.
I call it the tyranny of expectations. And it is not a Badass place to be!
So sit down, grab a beer, coffee or other beverage, because you’re in for a heavy read, this article is going to be amazing - but it will DEMAND you accept some hard things about yourself. Your Mind in fact.
Wow, what a great way to start an article, right?…Still here... Didn't unsubscribe! Good.
Look.. if all you do is skim through this page - this article may just be a complete waste of your time, or if you bother to do some WORK it might actually have something of value for you.
Guess your going to have to forget that first sentence and keep reading to find out.
Life is full of many ups and downs, moments of inconceivable joy, tremendous SHIT, utter boredom, sometime TERROR and yet in the end it is all part of a beautiful thing.
If you are not in political office you probably are blessed to have a conscious mind, but this amazing human tool is also one of our greatest enemies. People sit on mountains and devote themselves to entire lifetimes of study on this so the following words just cannot cut it. But I'll give it a go. Forgive me in advance.
FACT: Because the way in which our minds are hard-wired, we perceive the world in a way that keeps us from actually experiencing it the way it actually is.
WHAT! You say are you talking about!..... let me explain.
Our minds function through MEMORY IMAGES, and from logic, SO even if we are crazy, the way in which we think always seems logical to us. Yes in the beginning as children maybe we are really present with the new experience (the is the is no memory to draw from - think of the story of the Emperors New Clothes) but as we age we rely less and less on what our senses are telling us NOW and more on what MEMORY has already constructed for us. (Note - humans create future memories too... yup... it's called imagination). And this obviously was a good thing apparently for human survival. With a Starbuck on every corner now who could disagree.... but I digress...:-)
So - even though we all live with sensors that resides inside in us that gives us access to the PRESENT aka the NOW (eyes, ears, taste etc), those sensors are working with and through memories (past and future!) that are constantly comparing every little thing, and this comparing inevitably leads us to have many constructs of reality called Expectations.
An expectation is a logical or NOT so logical way in which our MIND wants the events of our lives to unfold, how we think things SHOULD BE, because of the experiences we have had in the past.
You look out into the world through filters influenced from the millions of impressions you have accumulated, all safely tucked away in your brain. And if you don't believe me turn on the TV. Wait a sec and what happens - a COMMERCIAL. They want to plant a memory seed. Open a magazine? Turn on the radio. Walk out side. Look at your clothes - is there a logo on it??? A tool designed to give you an impression - because it will cause you to THINK DIFFERENTLY.
PAUSE. Now chew on that. Drugs make you perceive the world differently and so do these mental formations if they are not observed and noted.
They plague your daily life, causing you to be irritable, disappointed, and disillusioned.
Many times they lead you to just be a shit head, and make poor decisions as you react in anger to something or someone not living up to that magical "expectation."
Expectations are so insidious that you can persist in maintaining them even after you have clear evidence that they are unfounded. And worse you often have no clue they are even operating in your life!!
Ok. I am not spiritual guru. And don't pretend to be. On the same journey as you guys. Struggling with my own self limiting expectations.
Here are 4 Questions/Tips/Muses to help us step out of these mind prisons into the moment..and kick these Expectation to the CURB....
Hands up if you countdown the days until Friday?
Well we have to stop that bullshit!
I was at an old folks home yesterday with a man who has dementia! It was so sad... he would give anything to have an hour of his "old" self back.... so lets commit to STOP wishing away more than half of our week while simultaneously lamenting that ‘life is too short’. That is NOT BADASS
WHY are you saving your favourite things for a special occasion. This is not good thinking. Why are you telling yourself that today is ordinary and Friday is BETTER. Why are you setting up the EXPECTATION which automatically sends a message to our brain that today will be ordinary.
Every HOUR we get to choose how we will treat ourselves and those around us. How different would our world would be if we chose to be that mindful?
Make it a habit to take 5 min every hour to just pause and appreciate the brand new day you’ve been given – a new amazing opportunity to experience life, and for the next hour FOCUS on whatever you are doing - don't loose it- savour it all of it the eating, laughing about, giving, exploring, dancing, daydreaming, creating and discovering what it feels like to be you. NOW... for this HOUR. For the Next HOUR be the BADASS you want to be....
This is not hitting on someone. The power of random daily compliments is freaking underrated.
This little act of kindness can make someone’s day.
It also gives you a reason to smile and focus on something good for a second. Plus, it’s a great way to build trust and start conversations with strangers.And finally, what goes around, comes around.
You are wrong.
What the hell do you know about whats going one with someone else no more than they do with you?
This expectation machine turn us into MIND-READERS.
Like we all seem to have special powers to know exactly why someone act/talks/thinks/the way they SEEM to be.
This is the expectation machine at itsworst. It’s so easy for us to focus on what’s not working, to focus on where someone isn’t giving us what we want, or where someone’s “bad” or “wrong” or “imperfect.”
So turn this one backwards and instead of focusing on what’s wrong, can you choose to focus on one thing that’s right? One freaking thing! Refer to point 2 above and compliment their shoes! 🙂
The more experience you have in life, the better assumptions and assumption-based decisions you can make. Life experiences will lead to making better decisions, but you get life experiences from making bad and good decisions.
So... we have a riddle don't we. Our assumption machine only works if it doesn't work! Or does. Yeah.... I'm confused too.
This is a big one. And it is slippy. Experience - good and bad - give us the "duh" experience to make better assumptions about the future.
BUT if you are not being willing to expose your self to new experiences because you ASSUME you know the outcome you basically limit yourself from the growth you need.
Confused? I am... so this is why I really don't like this assumption thing. In fact I see them as I age as dangerous as knowing nothing - seriously. I'd rather be naive!
That’s why you need to constantly keep testing your assumptions.
You must be critical of them! I choose to see me life as a playground, where I have to test what works and what doesn’t. The bottom line. TEST.
Have no expectations towards life and people, stay flexible in how you will achieve your endgame and focus on the NOW... just do the work. Focus on the means.... and let the ends fall where they may. Refocus all that mental energy into the NOW. Stop assuming you know anything.
JUST DO IT. Now that is BADASS!
Now its your turn... take one of the four tips and take an action. Head over to the private FB page and post your thoughts. See you there!