If there is anything in this world that’s going to be the death of me its got to be “Expectations”. Expectations are interesting things indeed; they can leave you speechless in both a good or bad way, they can also be a source of incredible joy or unthinkable sadness in your life and in so many other ways they can completely alter your perspective on things (people included) entirely.

Where I have an issue with “Expectations” is with how I constantly keep making the mistake of placing my hopes, aspirations and happiness on them. Like for example deciding on a particular matter based on the expectation that things are going to end up in a particular way or expecting someone to treat you in a particular way simply because you feel as though you deserve to be treated as such.

The most painful thing however about expectations is that they often come in company with things that we want. Not just that they often come with both buoyant optimism and gloomy depression, sort of like a yo-yo. For example you want a job right and so an expectation is there with every application that you send out that you will get a desired response, and when you don’t get that desired response you’re often left feeling dejected.

There are of course situations where expectations are warranted, and usually that’s when effort has been put in, otherwise am afraid your expectations are more of hopeful assumptions. And if we’re being completely honest about things, we often find ourselves in positions where we expect a lot but show very little to actually warrant those expectations.

And that’s one of the dangers of expectations I feel and it’s that you can get deluded by them. So much so that you plan things in your life around those expectations, only to find out in the most painful of ways that things played out otherwise. Which feels a lot like rubbing salt onto the wound of feeling let down when things don’t go your way.

Another topic that’s often filled with let downs is expectations from others, and the reason for that is that it’s important to note that the only thing that you have control over in this world is yourself and your response to things. And that everyone in this world has got their own agenda, their own prerogative, their own views and understandings on things and in none of those things is your satisfaction a key aspect. So when you are faced with an individual who puts you ahead of them-self, then rest assured that such an individual is definitely worth keeping in your life.

Another thing that’s important to note about expecting from others is that nobody can truly benefit or harm you and/or increase or decrease in your worth without you allowing them to do so. Why I say that is because no one really knows what happens in the future or moreover what is good/bad for you in the long run, so we’re all on the same boat really. And so placing an expectation on someone as though they are the key to your happiness or self worth is clearly a flawed concept.

Don’t get me wrong there are occasions when expectations can leave you with unimaginable joy. Take for example Leicester City in last season’s English Premier League, no one in their right mind would have expected Leicester to do what they did and in the manner in which they did it. They were odds 5000/1 to win the league last season, you have a better chance of running into Elvis Presley than seeing Leicester win the league and from a betting perspective that just shows you how much people expected from them. But long behold they are now Champions, figures huh?!

And where it is going to be interesting is next season when there is an expectation that they will do well. I always feel it’s harder to produce when you have to live up to expectations than when there are no expectations at all. Which is why it’s also important to hope for the best but always expect the worst. That way you wouldn’t be surprised if things don’t work out.

Finally, there is a naivety in simply expecting things to always work out in your favor. It is a fact of life that you wont get everything you want, that’s just a given. Sometimes things play out in your favor and other times they don’t. And although most of the times when things do play out in your favor it can be seen that you did warrant those things happening for you; sometimes even when you feel as though you’ve earned those expectations, you still don’t get them. That’s when it becomes a true test of your resolve to be able to accept that its not going to happen for you and move on to something else.

God Bless 🙂




3 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. You know what else is interesting about expectations? They tell us more about ourselves than about what is outside of us that we place our expectations on. I say this because every time we place an expectation on something, there is an internal emotional response that follows. This emotional response (as you pointed out in the first paragraph) is what informs us about our general disposition and how we percieve various experiences in life. I find that when you can pause and capture this realization in the moment you are creating an expectation, it becomes easier to separate what actually is from what you expect/want it to be. The art of ‘getting it right’ or nearly attaining a ratio of 1:1 for expectation to reality, is something that comes with a combination of practise and the acquistion of knowledge, I suppose. If we look at life as a learning experience for which we can plot a graph, then the graph would most likely take the shape of y = x^2 [‘y’ is knowledge acquistion and ‘x’ is experience]. So the good news is that the more experiences (both good and bad) you go through, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more knowledge you acquire of both the person that you are on the inside and the reality of the subject you place your expectations on. This in turn ensures a higher probability that you will actually arrive at an expectations:reality ratio that is closer to 1:1. Unless you are an unusual person for whom the graph of life looks like y = – (x^2). Hahaha.

    So sometimes, it’s not that your expectations are wrong or that you didn’t earn the right to have them. It’s just that you don’t have the matching reality for those expectations. Having this perception makes it easier not to fall into despair when we don’t get what we want. It also helps us be constructive by allowing ourselves the freedom to think about and actively seek a reality that actually matches your expectations. You’re not wrong to have your expectations, you just need to find the right reality for them. Unless of course, there are no realities that match your expectations. In which case, some serious re-evaluation of the said expectation is required. Do I make sense?

    Never thought I’d see the day that I use math to explain life. So thank you for that! And good article Momo! It’s not easy trying to be articulate when exploring multiple dimensions of a single topic. I salute your efforts! Keep ’em coming.


    1. Haha! I never thought I’d see the day when maths would be used to explain life but there u go. The logic behind what you are saying is impeccable it really does make sense how it’s not wrong to have expectations but that your expectations should match your reality. And attaining that balance between the two almost certainly requires experiences that are bad and maybe once that were good. Great point leens and as ever your comments make my article look like child’s play haha. Thanks


      1. Hahaha Momo! I rather think your articles inspire me to think about things in multiple perspectives using whacky analogies :P. And I don’t think it’s just me either. I notice your articles have been inspiring many other people besides me to also think and communicate their ideas about topics like this. Keep this up and we may actually establish a wiser and more self-aware community at least among our friends. So the compliment is right back at you my friend! 🙂 Ramadan Kareem!


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