The Page a Day Writers Group

Let go of expectation and enjoy life more

Posted on: December 6, 2010

“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations”  Elliott Larson

Have you ever experienced a tremendous sense of disappointment when something hasn’t lived up to your expectations? Have you ever been pleasantly surprised when your low expectations were surpassed, wonderfully? Expectation is to blame/thank. Which sensation would you rather court?

“Our desires always disappoint us; for though we meet with something that gives us satisfaction, yet it never thoroughly answers our expectation.” Elbert Hubbard

I’m rarely disappointed and I’m often pleasantly surprised. Similarly, I often balance between these feelings, which makes it easy to let go of experiences and ideas which might otherwise be troubling, or leave me bitter about an unfavorable outcome. I think many unfavorable book reviews (or music/product/movie reviews) stem from unmet expectations. How can an artistic experience, a relationship, a job, a child or a situation fully evolve when confined by your preconceived notions of what, how or who it should be? Expectation is the glass slipper on the stepsister’s foot. It pinches and binds. It prevents us from finding what really fits. It hampers our awareness by focusing our attention on our discomfort. It’s hard to enjoy a journey when you have a pebble in your shoe. Soon, you can’t think about anything but this trivial pain. Looking back, you may only recall your annoyance, and not the beauty around you.

“The best things in life are unexpected – because there were no expectations.” Eli Khamarov

Have you had a day that simply unfolded itself around you, offering manifold delights and marvelous little bursts of luck? It’s likely that it was a day when you had no plans, or perhaps your plans were thwarted and you simply surrendered to the flow. Those magical moments of discovery happen because we are wide open. We see the waterfall, the birds, the swaying trees, the fluttering yellow moths and the soothing drift of clouds because we are not distracted by a pebble in our shoe.

“I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.” Dalai Lama

Look back at recent experiences about which you feel strongly. There’s probably anger there, disappointment, frustration. Were your expectations dashed? Did someone let you down? Events did not proceed as planned and arrive at the fictional outcome created in your brain? Did a highly reviewed book or film leave you thinking “Meh, what’s all the fuss about?” Release expectation. Take in each moment, each word, each note, without evaluating it. Let it wash through you and let it go. Choose to be pleasantly surprised.

Read an article about expectation and cultivating a Zen mindset.

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1 Response to "Let go of expectation and enjoy life more"

Yes! Surrender to the flow! Manifold delights and little bursts of luck- this is lovely, Kirsten 😀

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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