Living Up To Expectations

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“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles, possesses the only strength to overcome adversity.”  Albert Schweitzer

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Having expectations is a good thing but when we allow another to have ecpectations of us it can become a challenge. It is not fair to have lofty expectations of another. We might offer a few options. From a child we might want a decent report card. A fair grade may be received on the next report card. If we want it to be all A’s then we have defeated ourselves and crushed our child.They can’t meet our expectations and may stop trying. In the end we all lose.

Of course we want our child to be able to compete and make the grade. It is how we go about it that will determine if they will do it. If the bar we want them to reach for is too high, then it will lead to  frustration. The shutdown of attempts is inevitable. Most of us realize what we can or cannot do. Of course it is desirable to strive for more and try to go further than we expected. This is more  like never giving up and continuing our effort forward. If we do better awesome but if we attain our goal that is also awesome.Even our children should be involved in their own goal setting. It is not unusual as a parent to expect decent grades. Our child is knowledgable about the amount of time they devote to studying. When we are disappointed in their effort we can discuss the issue and demand better. They can determine the amount of extra effort they will give. If there is improvement we need to exhibit our pleasure. Upon seeing our satisfaction and their own results of working harder they gain confidence in the power of cause and effect.

If we force our agenda on them and send them to  their room to study for two hours, the chances are they are not in their room working. All of us need to have our own objectives and reasons for fulfilling  them. Power and force is never a good thing. If all of us are a part of the solution then we all have a  stake in the outcome and feel a satisfaction with the results. You just can’t make another person desire what you desire. You can’t force your expectations onto another even if it is your own child.

When any of us attempt to please because another is  controlling us,  it is a weak attempt and can cause us to become depressed and alienated. Kids feel they have let us down. they begin to believe they are not as good as the next person because they didn’t get the great report  card or score a lot of goals in soccer. they feel mom and dad are disappointed and they can’t change it because they can’t do it. It is the same for adults only we think it is different.

When the boss expects the impossible, it causes us stress and tension. At first we try but then give up becasue we know we can’t physically or  mentally accomplish the task. The anxiety we feel is overwhelming and it reflects in our bad mood and behavior towards others. Husbands and wives need to question and beware of the aspirations they set for each other. How perfect we must be in our babysitting skills or housecleaning or dishwashing efforts should be contemplated. Take into account having a cold, an ache or pain, tiredness, pressure from work, or simply a bad day or mood.

We can discuss some targets for our kids. Taking into consideration their wants and reasons for their own ambitions is important. A child who wants to play a college level sport may not realize they need to have good grades. Awareness of this may encourage them to work harder on their grades.You might consider a compromise regarding your ends and their aims. We should involve them and help them to own the goal.

Accomplishing any goals is uplifting and gains them a sense of self and security. They know they have parents they can count on for support yet they have input into challenges and pride in the results. We are teaching them how to seek opportunities and reach their potential. it gives them confidence to make an effort at an enhanced ambition and establish more targets for themselves to attain. The more any of us succeed at something, the more we will attempt the impossible.

As adults we should not allow others to set our goals. It is a shame that so many people do or attempt to control others. We are not machines and shouldn’t be treated as such. Machines don’t think or feel or take humanity into consideration. For this  reason humans should never be replaced. Keeping our focus on what can be done is vital. We can’t feel defeated every time another sets up a duty for us to do which is in the impossible realm.

What we can accomplish for ourselves is understanding what is and isn’t possible. Knowing this we can attempt assignments, but release the burden of finishing the goal on someone else’s given time-frame. Bosses get over it and go onto another project  or item. Spouse’s fail in their own agendas. The stress we have saved ourselves is tremendous. Let the bars that are set by other people fall back on them. Soar upward toward the loftiest intentions. The further you get from your own aims are cause for celebration,

Only we know in our hearts what is doable. Accomplish what we can and let the stress go. Remember that other people who are setting your purposes,  probably haven’t even attempted to accomplish such goals themselves. They have no idea what they are asking you to do. Don’t worry about failure and don’t let it define you. You haven’t failed if you gave it your best effort.

If I have never painted a house and ask someone to complete it in a day then most likely the sole worker is going to fail. they might know from the start that they can’t do it in a day yet they may attempt it. They know it was impossible, while I am the loser who hasn’t a clue about the length of time it takes to paint a house.  So the bottom line is to think of those people who set lofty goals for us, as children who need to learn more about life.

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”  Albert Einstein

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S.Eliot


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