Expectations are a transversal axis throughout our lives. We form expectations about everything and everyone – from the weather to the behavior of others, the course of events, and even about ourselves. However, often these expectations are not met, condemning us to a state of dissatisfaction. For this reason, it is important to understand what expectations are and, above all, learn to deal with them so that they do not become a source of permanent frustration.
The best quotes about expectations in life
1. “Blessed is he who expects nothing, because he will never be disappointed” –Alexander Pope
The English poet knew very well what he was talking about since in his youth he suffered several health problems, including a form of tuberculosis that affected his spine, causing bodily deformation and stunting his growth. Pope believed that if we keep our expectations under control, we will lessen the chances of being disappointed. When we do not harbor too many illusions, we close the door to disappointment since this is born precisely from disappointed expectations.
2. “The best things in life are unexpected because we had no expectations” – Eli Khamarov
When we don’t have too many expectations about how things should go or how others should behave, we open the door to surprise. When we don’t have preconceived ideas, we open ourselves to the magic of the unknown. In fact, getting rid of expectations also means accepting the uncertainty of the universe with the willingness to flow with events. When we assume that state of flow, the chances are increased that life will pleasantly surprise us, sending us just what we need at that moment.
3. “Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack” – Brandon Sanderson
This American writer refers to our tendency to cling to expectations, even unrealistic ones, whose probability of occurrence is minimal. Once formed, we tend to cling to these preconceived ideas as if they were a lifeline, without realizing that the stronger that attachment is, the more likely it is that expectations are not met since we end up exerting excessive pressure on others or the circumstances, a pressure that often pushes them in the opposite direction. In this way, sometimes the opposite effect occurs: the more we want something, the more we push it away.
4. “The expectations of life depend upon diligence: the mechanic who wants to perfect his work must first sharpen his tools” – Confucius
Confucius was referring to the fact that many times our expectations do not have a solid foundation. More than a probability based on facts, they are a hope based on our wishes. The more expectations are far from reality and become a reflection of our desires, the more likely they are to vanish. For this reason, the philosopher encourages us to do our part by adjusting our expectations in the same way that we would make sure that our work tools are in good condition. It is not sensible to sit idly by and feed certain expectations. It is more rational to work for them to be fulfilled.
5. “Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations” –Earl Nightingale
This radio host, always concerned with human character and meaningful existence, thought that much of what happens to us is the result of the way we understand and relate to the world. Our expectations, especially those of which we are not fully aware, also shape that world and determine how those around us will react. Expectations can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy, so we need to pay more attention to what we want and expect from others.
6. “Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises; and oft it hits where hope is coldest, and despair most fits” – William Shakespeare
The writer warned us that we must prepare to deal with frustrated expectations, especially when they are too high since the chances that they will not be met are high. Putting into practice a kind of Praemeditatio Malorum, the stoic technique so that adversity does not take us by surprise, Shakespeare encourages us to be aware that expectations do not always come to fruition, so we should have a plan B to deal with the disappointments that await us along the way.
7. “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations” – Michael J. Fox
The Canadian actor knows what he is talking about. With a Parkinson’s diagnosis that forced him to stay away from the cameras, in his book “Lucky Man” told how after seven years of denial, he finally managed to accept his illness. Fox tells us about the need to accept the ups and downs of life – with its positive and negative aspects – instead of clinging to our expectations and preconceived ideas about how things should be. That is precisely one of the secrets of happiness: learning to flow with life, taking advantage of what it gives us.