Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Dangers of Expectations

One thing you can expect!  The sun will always set.  Pic of our friends on s/v Illusion 
I wish we didn't lose our dinghy motor.  I really do.  If we hadn't, we would be in Long Island (Bahamas, not New York) with our friends, enjoying the peaceful calm of a (semi) private anchorage.

But we did lose our dinghy motor.  And we are not in Long Island.

Which got me to thinking about expectations.  I have always, always said that expectations are dangerous.  If they are too high - you risk being disappointed...if they are too low, you risk short selling yourself...if they are wrong, you find yourself plain old dissatisfied.  I know you can all relate.  This is not profound, but I do want to share because, well, that's what I do here...

We unexpectedly lost our dinghy motor, expected our friends' sailing dinghy would work out (which sadly, it didn't).  We bought a new (to us) motor which (we now have learned) is going to take more work than we expected and, in turn, cost more in mechanic fees than expected. We expected to depart with our friends on Panacea.  We expected to leave the day before yesterday. Expected, expected.

I don't want anyone to feel "bad" for us - I am not looking for pity.   I mean, we are in the Bahamas on a boat for heaven's sake!  Like I mentioned yesterday, it could be worse (way worse!) and we are by no means in dire straits.  Life is good!  But I am re-learning an important lesson that I have learned over and over again in all of my travels (lessons are so much more cut and dry when I travel) - and one that I feel is important to reiterate and share - and that is to be very careful of expectations.  They should be treated gently and considered frequently; " Is this realistic?  Is this fair?  Is this too much? Does this sound too good to be true?"

We can all cross check our expectations.  Do we expect too much from our friends, our partners, our siblings, our companies, our schools, our spouses, our parents, our children, our teachers, our lives (or, as in our case, our used engine)?  Or worse, do we not expect enough? Are we creating our own dissatisfaction, limitations or unhappiness with our own expectations?
Dreaming is one thing, and working towards the dream is one thing, but working with expectations in mind is very self-defeating.    Michael Landon


Jacob said...

Great post and so true.

Take your time. There's no rush. Enjoy the journey. This is what makes your journey incredible and gives you great stories to tell and remember.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you hear exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it. I pray every morning for inspiration and direction, and if my eyes and ears are open, it is right in front of me. Thank you for your lovely soul and words that truly inspire.

You reminded me as well it is about the journey not the destination, and to enjoy the moment.

Life IS good.


Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Such a great post, and I love the quote from Michael Landon .. so true! As they say, look at the glass as half full. We wish you the best with the dinghy motor, and hope you'll be in Long Island before you know it.

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