The biggest obstacle to really living is your expectations; expectations of how life should be (or shouldn’t be), the expected result of something you put a lot of effort into, what your relationships should look like or how successful you should be.
Having expectations means you are attached to a particular outcome. But when you’re attached to a particular outcome, you can often miss what else life is trying to show you or give to you.
Having expectations can take you out of the present moment, make you laser focused on the future and drain you of vital life force energy due to rushing around and striving towards a particular outcome.
A slippery slope…
When things don’t turn out the way you thought they would, the way you thought they should, the way you wanted them to or the way you expected them to, then it often feels like you’ve fallen short.
Anything other than the outcome you expected becomes a disappointment. Especially if you are someone with perfectionist tendencies, then that disappointment can be further heightened.
The danger with this is that you lose faith in yourself, and in life. You don’t achieve something you set out to do, or you don’t get the result from the time and effort you put into something that you thought you’d see – so you label this a failure. You punish yourself, or you blame life for letting you down.
The key to a peaceful life is to not have expectations. That’s right! Don’t expect anything.
Instead, you move through life maintaining a vision of what you’d like to achieve and what you want your life to look like, but from a state of non-attachment.
“Act without expectation.” – Lao Tzu
Follow and be free…
By not being attached to a specific outcome, you approach things from a mindset of openness and curiosity. You ask new questions when life throws you a curve ball such as, “I wonder where this could be taking me…”
You become more peaceful, relaxed and serene because you’re not attaching your worth to a defined outcome and because you’re not expending a ton of energy trying to control the outcome.
You feel more whole as a person because you don’t NEED to have things a certain way. You know you need to show up and take inspired action, but you accept that is as much control and influence you have over the outcome. The rest is out of your hands.
Expectations and attachments to certain outcomes is like building a house on sand: your house is bound to fall down at one time or another. All the while you live in a state of peril worrying about disaster striking and it all being taken away from you.
There’s always a gift…
How do you know that not achieving what you expected to achieve isn’t the best thing for you? What if the greatest of perceived failures turns out to be your greatest success story?
You can only ever do what you can, from where you are, with what you have. So why not show up as the best version of yourself, and just enjoy the ride?
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