If you are looking for the secret to long lasting business, personal, romantic and social relationships, you should have ZERO expectations. Here are FIVE reasons you want to lower your expectations in others and get them as close to zero as possible.
1) Expectations Breed Entitlement
If you have every found yourself thinking: "I deserve.......", then you have a big fucking problem. You are entitled to NOTHING! You deserve nothing. You should expect absolutely nothing because until you take full responsibility for your decisions and actions, you will always be a passive victim and you will never achieve anything in life.
2) Expectations Don’t Differentiate between “Want” and “Should”
If you are full of expectations, it is difficult to differentiate between what you want to do and what you should do. Freedom is the ability to do the things that you want to do. Slavery is doing the things that you think you should do. This is short and sweet. Doing things that you are expected to do creates resentment, especially if you also expect to be thanked for doing these things. One of the biggest reasons why my second marriage failed is because I did things I thought I was expected to do, and was then supremely pissed off when my ex-wife did not show any gratitude for the things I was doing. The resentment grew until it exploded.
3) Expectations are Often Unrealistic
Let me give you a quick list of expectations that many people unwittingly have tattooed onto their sub conscious:
1) opportunities should fall into my lap,
2) people should like me,
3) people know what I am trying to say,
4) physical possesions will make me happy, and
5) I can change him/her.
All these expectations are horribly false and will systematically ruin your life. Lets address each if these unrealistic expectations:
1) you need to work hard and create opportunities,
2) some people will think you are a dickhead (who cares),
3) people are clueless as to what you are trying to say (you need to make more effort to make yourself understood),
4) physical possessions will be making you fucking miserable, and
5) no, there is no way you are going to be able to mold the person into who you want (accept them for who they are and move forward).
4) Expectations Lead to Resentment
You are in the underground heading off to work on the Monday after Christmas. You are tired and hungover, and feel like a zombie. You find yourself a seat, set your Spotify to some soothing adult contemporary music, and then an old lady walks in. You do the gentlemanly thing and offer her your seat. She takes the offer and doesn’t bother to say thank you. You immediately think that she is an ungrateful cow and hopes that she swallows her false teeth. For the next 10 minutes, your resentment grows, your body fills with stressful cortisone, and then you die before the train reaches the next stop. If only you had read this piece and realized the importance of having no expectations and not giving a fuck, you would have been happily in your cubicle, doing your bullshit job, writing that useless report that no one was going to read, and everyone lives happily ever after!
5) Expectations are Subjective
If you think expectations are truths, then you are in for a very disappointing life. Expected behavior in situations differ wildly from person to person. What one person expects may be very far from what another person expects. When I moved to Mexico City, I quickly realized that business meetings run on a different agenda when compared to London and South Africa. In the latter two places, introductions are swift, and you jump straight onto business. In Mexico, the first 10 minutes is general small talk about what is happening in the city, country or world. Then next ten minutes is personal small talk – talking about family, friends, lovers and golfing buddies. Then and only then, do you jump into the filthy part of talking business. This drove me nuts - I am impatient, time is money and I don’t care about the fucking weather. I learned to have zero expectations as to when or sometimes even if, we would reach the business end of the interaction. You may take a client to lunch and he may do his best to avoid the topic of business altogether.
So, this is what you need to do. You need to execute a mass transferal of expectations that you have placed in other people, and invest them in yourself. Instead of expecting other people to do things for you, concentrate all that responsibility on yourself and take ownership of your outcomes. Stop being a passenger, jump into the driver’s seat and hit the gas. Stop being passive and be active – get shit done. Instead of sitting behind a screen and watching YouTube videos, and expecting that success will in some miraculous way fall out of the fucking sky and into your lap, get out the front door and start executing on the plans.
We are living in a world of expectations and entitlement and privilege. This is creating a world of soft, lazy and unsuccessful losers. My advice is to get off your fat entitled asses and start doing some honest work.