Friday, July 1, 2011

Expectations. F*ck 'Em.

You Are Wonderful.
How often are we told to think this? Variations, perhaps often. “You are special.” “Unique”. “Talented”. It is difficult for me to support these terms because there is a sense of comparison beneath the façade of the compliment. “You are more special than that child”, “You are more unique than others could hope to be”, and thus, more talented than others are. And we wonder where our sense of entitlement comes from these days.

Not only is there a sense of comparison inherent in these seemingly harmless terms used to extol our 5 year olds for scribbling on a napkin that we will later hang on our freezer door, there is also a set of expectations that comes attached to the things,
words. Now, allow the word expectations to be loosely defined: something which one or another expects to happen.

The cause of such expectations is not the point, as expectations are fantasies in the first and foremost place. Things people want to happen, but are not happening. Goals are one thing. Expectations, another. Expectations can often lead to pressure, and pressure to guilt when one deviates from whatever is laid before them as the plan by whatever implement of society is at hand, be it themselves, a family member, etc. And thus guilt and pain come when there is nothing wrong with the daily life of a garbage man, working a wage and paying for food for the family he loves.

What Are You Doing With Your Life?

But society looks down on one thing and lifts another. So what if you drop out of college? So what if you work at a convenience store? So what if you are president of a huge company or if you work in the mailroom? The person who “made it” could be a jerk, or could have been the college drop out who followed his dreams, or could have inherited the company. The convenience store worker could be paying for his child’s health bills for a serious disease, working two jobs. They are still a kind and caring person despite not following others’ expectations of success. And while it is a big enough monster to fight others’ expectations, it is our own which can be our largest downfall.

I know I beat myself up over many things that I feel I should be and am not, especially when I compare myself to far more successful peers. Never do this. You are sure to find someone you deem much more successful and may be disappointed. Just focus on goals, not expectations and take steps everyday towards those goals!

Just Do It.
But regardless, I would say there is nothing wrong, and there is everything right about being where you are here and now, doing what you are doing. The key is to realize is there is no worse word than “should”. Just be. Learn to pay attention to what is right in front of you, not ahead or behind.

So as I write this, I am very pleased of the direction my life is going in, as I am writing my blog entry instead of guilting myself about the fact that I have not done so recently. And I am writing my blog post instead of worrying about how many times a week I must post. That’s the past and the future respectively. I am working on acting more and thinking less. Thinking has always gotten me tons of headache and making assumptions has caused worse heartache, especially with not acting because of fear.

Thus, my new mid-year’s resolution is to Do More, Think Less.

Anyone thought similarly? Let me know how thinking and not acting has screwed you up, or let me know ideas of how I can learn to act more and be more decisive. Leave me a comment and let me know guys.


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