What is disappointment? Why do we even get frustrated or mad? What are those things that tip us off? Disappointment is the result of an unmet expectation. We EXPECT that drivers should mind their own business and not cut us off or do anything stupid....so we get a little flustered when that happens. We EXPECT our 2 year old to keep her food on the table....okay, maybe we don't expect that anymore...but we used to. We EXPECT certain things from the people around us and then when they don't follow through we get annoyed, disappointed, or hurt. EXPECTATIONS! What if we just LOWERED them a bit? Wouldn't our life be soooo much better?
Don't get me wrong, lowering expectations can be taken in different ways. For example, we should not lower what we show we expect from our kids, colleagues, friends, etc... We should let our kids know that we expect certain things and try to help them learn and grow. BUT, in the process of learning and growing, even though we SAY we expect certain things, we should try our hardest to NOT expect those things...inwardly. Confusing enough? Here is an example:
I teach a family piano lessons and lately it has been REALLY hard to want to teach them...like I just want to quit, but can't because it's such a good gig money-wise...and we've got bills. The reason it's been hard to teach them is because THEY DON'T PRACTICE. As a music teacher, I expect my students to practice and I let them know that I have high expectations. I guess I just don't scare this family enough ;). Piano is not like soccer....you can't just show up. I've been at a loss lately because I always go expecting for them to have at least touched the piano since their last lesson....but hardly any of them have...trust me, I KNOW. Teachers can always tell. So, my new tactic is to lower my expectations. I still tell them what I expect of them and I have high expectations on the outside. On the inside, I try to tell myself "Okay Angela, before you teach them, realize, they probably haven't practiced, try to help them become better piano players anyways and don't get frustrated because you are only hurting yourself." It definitely has helped the last couple of times. I think it would help if I applied this in many other aspects of my life.
Wouldn't it be cool if we never had to face disappointment? What if everything in life was just another event, something that made us stronger. If we lower our expectations on most things especially the things we expect our kids or hubby's to do, our lives will run smoother, our love will grow deeper, and our happiness with be much greater. Let us all raise our expectations on the outside, but lower our expectations on the inside :)