Letting Go of Expectations — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback:Expectations « Kecia's Blog

  2. Thank you. I struggle a lot with being unhappy about unmet expectations & hopes. I’ve read many examples of wise advice counseling people to let go of their expectations (Buddhist stuff, 12 step stuff, etc.). I know there’s wisdom in this line of advice, but something that’s always bothered me about it is that it seldom addresses the healthy & appropriate role in life for goals. The message I’ve taken from most “let go of your expectations” advice has seemed to me to be almost anti-goal. But if we don’t have dreams, don’t have goals, don’t have yearnings to make the world a better place, then what are we? These things are intrinsic to our humanity, I believe. And yet, so much suffering arises from them. Your post is one of the first things I’ve read that has dealt with this question in a thoughtful and practical way. I feel curious now to inventory my goals, and then identify the human needs underlying them, and open my mind to the possibility that there may be various ways of meeting those needs, and that it would be healthy for me to assess whether my particular goals and hopes are realistic. I also value the idea of keeping in mind that we can pursue goals but we can’t control outcomes, and letting go can come in very handy once we’ve given our all to the pursuit of a goal and are awaiting the results of our efforts. Again, thanks for your post & your blog.

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