Expectations

We do it to ourselves.

We have these expectations. They live in our heads, not in someone else’s. And they tell us what we think, what we want to have happen . . . and that’s the good thing — these expectations are our hopes, our dreams, our spirits untrammeled. “I’m going to get 15 of those squats unbroken.” “I will get a muscle-up.” “All A’s this semester. All A’s.” “He’s the one.”

Expectations can be fantastic things: their very existence tells us that we are alive, that something called hope still burns brightly somewhere within us. And hope ain’t no joke: it keeps us breathing some days.

But there can be a problem with expectations. They can bite us in the ass. And keep on biting. Because when they’re not met — for whatever reason, whether it is our own failing or that of someone else — often we stay at the scene and beat ourselves up over what we could have done better. We assess the difference between what we expected to happen and what actually did — and then we linger. And the lingering is what gets us in trouble. It feeds our ego but produces nothing.

So stop lingering. Learn and start doing. And redoing. Our salvation lies in action, not in repose.

The seed of tomorrow’s victory certainly lives in what we learn today, but not if we’re stupid and mired in our failures. So, stop gazing at your own reflection and look up. The world is alive with other possibilities. Grab one of them. Act.

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