It's Christmas time. The whole family is sitting around the room with a Christmas tree in the corner. Everyone opened their gifts and you are the last one at the party to open yours. The wrapping paper is neatly folded and tightly wrapped around this box, even shaking it didn't help you figure out what it is. As you finally tear off all the pieces and open the box you find the worst gift you could ever imagine: nothing.
What do you expect?
Life begins, and sometimes end, at our expectations. In the history of the world, people have expected great things from others and themselves in certain situations. Mostly the result of these expectations turn out to be quite meager or disappointing. It's quite often then, that we find ourselves disappointed by people or situations, without them actually doing anything before or after we received something. If you want more insight on this visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/cui-bono/201802/the-psychology-expectations.
The point of expectations then is to manage them. This is a skill that's hard to master, but well worth trying to. When we know what we expect and can be clear in our pursuit of it, we not only leave ourselves better off, but also the people who offend us by not meeting expectations.
If you are expecting me to say: 'Expect less', you are wrong. We should expect more, but be willing to sacrifice what our expectations entail. With great power comes great responsibility, the saying goes and whether it comes from Spider-Man or the Bible, it rings true to expectations. The antidote for being let down, is being able to manage the power our expectations give us...or have over us, depending on who you are.
When we expect a certain gift, we need to communicate it to the people around us, or make sure we have the means to purchase it ourselves. In this situation, the expectation is not only communicated, but an action plan in the pursuit of an expectation is clearly present. These are just two practical ways of using our powers responsibly.
I already mentioned this, but it's important to go over this properly. I have had very bad experience with not communicating my expectations clearly before, and guess it won't take you too long to bring up a memory where you did the same.
Even if it is uncomfortable, we need to communicate what we want and how we want it. In life, you aren't going to get exactly what you want (because that's just how life works), but when the air is clear about what you need, it beats the uncomfortable feeling when neither you nor the 'giver' get's what they want out of the deal later on.
More on communicating expectations, read: https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454 by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.
Nothing is good enough.
When you are happy on the inside, no outside gift or experience will truly be able to steal your joy. Although the previous sentence sounds like a Disney quote, it's not...it's just the truth. When you take away the rush from getting things all the time, eventually you will become content with things around you and the stuff you already have. I think sometime having nothing is the best thing you could ever have, because it teaches you to be grateful.
This is a lesson I had to learn over and over in life, and still do today: be happy with what you have. If you have nothing, which of your friends will stay? If you have nothing, what would make you happy? If you had nothing, what would make you get up in the morning?
Here's to having nothing!