Friday, 21 April 2017

expectations: rainy day morning coffee musing



I wore my jacket into the city yesterday and it was a nuisance. I didn't need it for a 25 degree day and ended up lugging it around from appointment to appointment.

I wore my jacket into the city today and it felt good. I pulled the collar up against the breeze and the rain and revelled in the change of season that Easter inevitably ushers in.

Same coat, same city. So many of the emotions that affect our days are about the difference between an expectation and our experience. Disappointment, frustration, anger are triggered by the difference between what we expect, plan or anticipate, and an experience of reality that doesn't measure up.

Much to my chagrin, some things are predictably disappointing, yet I maintain a fool's expectation that my hopes will be met. Traffic congestion. Customer service from corporate contact centres. My ability to maintain unbroken months of optimum health & fitness. The speed of change. That people don't agree with me on stuff that matters. :)

So what am I to do? Lowering expectations is a logical response, but flies in the face of my natural optimism. For me it is about the relationship between hope and expectations. A sober assessment of the probability of my hopes being realised facilitates a positive emotion when they are (realised), rather than a negative one when they are not.

... and I guess the other fundamental attribute that allows the maintenance of emotional health is an enacted appreciation of that which is within my control and that which is not. If my train is cancelled and I will be late, there is simply no value in expending emotion on the lateness. Better to harness that energy into seeking to mitigate the implications, which will inevitably mean adjusting someone else's expectation!!!

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