In a previous article that I write on expectations, I looked at where our expectations come from. And here I want to take a closer look at how expectations are influencing our day to day life.
Expectations can become part of one’s nature and how they see life or they can be expectations that come and go and are only short term.
When one is a child, there are likely to be a certain set of expectations. And as one grows older, some of these will change and adapt; while others may remain until ones teenage years and even adult years.
There will always be expectations in place, no matter how old one is. It’s really a matter of if one is aware of them or not and if they are beneficial to one’s life.
Now, these expectations could be from within and formed through our own thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations. Or they could be the result of what we have heard externally and from other sources.
What is within had to come from without at some point, but when I say within; I’m talking about expectations that have been consciously chosen. And when I say from without; I’m talking about expectations that are unconscious and are neither questioned nor consciously chosen.
Areas Of Life
One can have expectations around every area of life. This could be expectations that one has about themselves and the expectations that one has of other people.
These could be expectations to do with: men, women, countries, day to day experiences, society, relationships, friendships, holidays, products, food stuffs and others things.
These expectations can become so normal and a part of one’s life, that they no longer seem like expectations. The expectations and the experiences become one and the same. It is then experienced as how life is and seeing that expectations are a major catalyst to how one experiences life is then overlooked.
On one side we can have long term expectations and these will be what our ego mind likes to identify with. This could be the expectations that one has in their relationships or in how successful one is capable of being.
And on the other side we have short term expectations and these will be what relate to the situations that come up in our life. This could be a night out or a holiday for example.
Now let’s take a look at how our expectations are playing out in our life. One may then begin to get a clearer understanding of how this is working.
Relationships will be affected by both a short term expectations and our long term expectations. One can expect to have an intimate relationship that is loving, supportive and empowering or one that is abusive, unsupportive and neglectful.
When it comes to short term interactions and casual acquaintances; one can also have expectations about how they will go and what they will be like.
Men will have expectations of women and what they are like or will be like; with women also having expectations of what men are like or will be like.
After a while of living in a certain country, one will have formed general expectations of what it’s like to live in the country. And if another country were to be mentioned, the expectations would more than likely change.
The countries that one enjoys going to or has positive associations of, will be the countries where one has formed positive expectations. A country that has a warmer climate to the one that one currently inhabits is bound to create positive expectations at the very least.
Our expectations are always being shaped by the mainstream media. This could be to do with what the world is like and how safe or unsafe it is, to what products can and can’t do for us, what the weather is going to be like and many other things.
How a product or service is displayed and marketed, will also create the expectations that we have around products or services.
When something is marketed at a certain price or a when it is associated with certain celebrities; our expectations are being formed.
These are influencing how valuable we expect something to be. And this will then shape our expectation of the brand and as a result, shape the experiences that we go on to have with it.
We have opinions of others and others have opinions of us; some of these will be accurate and some won’t be. And these opinions are often a consequence of hearing about another’s reputation or through the views of another person and this means they are not always gained through firsthand experience.
For example, celebrities are largely known through their time on TV and from write ups by journalists and the people that have spent time with them. People then form ideas and impressions based on these and their expectations are then formed.
However, these are not necessarily the truth and may have very little to do with them, which means that one’s expectations of these people are often inaccurate.
We Experience What We Expect
And once the mind has formed or created an expectation, it will do everything it can to make the expectation real. And what doesn’t match or mirror this expectation will then be filtered out.
The ego mind will be like a magnet to what it has been programmed to expect and this will become a self fulfilling prophecy. One can; ignore and reject what is different, project onto the situation so that it fits their internal idea or interpret the situation in a way that it corresponds with their expectation.
Ones behaviour will then change to fit this expectation, so whether it is actually true or not will often depend on whether the mind wants it to be true.
And this is why awareness is so important; as these expectations are often running automatically. They have become so normal and natural that they are taken as how life is.
For them to change, the pattern needs to be changed to something beneficial and empowering. The first stage is to realise that one has a choice and that that they are not fixed.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.