I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.

~ Bruce Lee


I love people who are like Mimi and I simply like to be Eunice in the strip above. The lower other people’s expectations of me, the happier I am as I am not quite the meet very high expectations type. The one single person who had expectations of me, my late mother, had just ordinary expectations and so it was relatively easy for me to come up to them. That in some cases, due to sheer luck or as others point out, being in the right place at the right time with the right credentials, I surpassed her expectations and it was a joy for her worth beholding.  On the other hand, I never had to let her down as she did not expect too much!

I have seen a lot of others with high expectations of themselves, their spouses and / or their children and having seen what happens to them, I would rather not have any at all. That way there are no disappointments and recriminations.

My readers will naturally ask if I don’t have expectations of myself. In all honesty, I can say that I don’t other than the one simple expectation that all of us have; to go when the time comes without pain and suffering. I do not have great expectations of anyone else in my life either and that makes it very simple for a peaceful and relatively stress free life.

How about you?

This topic was suggested by me for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoy my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

18 thoughts on “Expectations!”

  1. Due to some early childhood conditioning I had too high expectations of myself thinking that I did not measured up to expectations of my parents. Thanks God I got rid of that and I now am usually content with doing my best. Still pretty demanding of myself but I manage to feel happy with myself from time to time. I think that having too high expectations of others and putting them on imaginary pedestals is bound to lead to problems. Disappointments are unavoidable and expectations often unrealistic and unfair. Great topic>
    Anna recently posted..YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESSES

    1. One can indeed be demanding of oneself now and then and life throws enough googlies at us to make that happen. And despite that if we can find happiness in just being alive we have more than compensated for those interruptions.

  2. My dear Ramana, there speaks an old man’s equilibrium (don’t worry about the ‘old’ bit – I do treasure the old unless they are dunces who haven’t learnt anything from life’s experiences, calcifying instead).

    I have high expectations of myself and others. Not in terms of what the world sees as “success” but in the less tangible, the personal, integrity by way of example. On the other hand if and when my expectations of others’ conduct are not met, whilst disappointed, I do realize that there is usually a reason behind it. However, If I don’t meet my own expectations of myself it throws me into turmoil. Not immediately but eventually. And there is nothing but nothing anyone can say to make it better. I know what I know, and I see what I see. A band aid may shield the cut from view but the cut is still there.

    I could now become bitter and twisted at what I increasingly see as my parents’ expectations. My mother is particularly good at tightening the emotional thumbscrews. My father? Don’t ask. I am not surprised any longer that I do have such a thick skin it’d take some doing to elicit as much as a droplet of blood out of my Achilles heel. In their dotage they crave harmony. Fine, I’ll do my best to give them ‘harmony’. If their offspring chokes on it.

    Other than that: Good to have you back, Ramana.

    Lowering the bar, yours,
    Ursula recently posted..In the chair

    1. Lowering the bar is a great metaphor and one of these days I shall pen another post on the subject. It is nice to be back home but I am preoccupied since my return with matters that I could do without. But that is life.

  3. I think you have higher expectations of others than you are letting on but they are subtle in nature. First and foremost I expect honesty from folks – especially my friends.
    shackman recently posted..Expectations.

  4. my father had very high expectations of us. and we were to measure up.
    i had many “shoulds” to un~do as my own life progressed. he was no longer alive… but his voice was in my head!
    i’m happier now than i ever was earlier. and mostly because I’ve accepted my own lack of expectations. integrity and honesty not included in that lack. that becomes part of one. but i was NEVER a competitive person. and “expectations” always made me feel that lack of competitive spirit. it didn’t come natural to me.
    now i go with the flow. the flow is lovely. calming and very nice.
    thank you.
    tammyj recently posted..new best friend

    1. It is natural for parents to have some expectations of their children but my problem is with the degree of such expectations. I simply cannot understand helicopter parenting and tiger mom expectations.

  5. I thrive on hearing “Yay, Jean!,” and my expectations are so low that I get to say that all the time. My Jawbone activity monitor keeps pointing out I routinely average a lot more than the usual goal of 10,000 steps a day, wouldn’t I like to set a higher goal? How dumb would that be?
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Not for the Faint of Heart

  6. I think you’ll find Bruce Lee stole that quote from Fritz Perls’ The Gestalt Prayer:
    “I do my thing and you do your thing.
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
    And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
    You are you, and I am I,
    and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
    If not, it can’t be helped.”
    (Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim”, 1969)

    I have few expectations of life other than to enjoy myself and stretch my intellect a bit. I never had any grand worldly ambitions so I was never disappointed by not meeting them. My father had high expectations of me which I never met, and he could never accept that I was a different person with different ideas of what to do with my life.
    nick recently posted..Bad sex

  7. I have managed to offend others a few times because my expectations of them were too low.

    My bi-cultural world must note the expectations of the Asian tiger family, which both achieves success and leaves many broken lives along the way. Then there is the Western world of limited expectations, which achieves success sometimes, but mostly achieves mediocrity. Yet it still leaves a trail of broken lives.
    Looney recently posted..Childhood by Tolstoy

Comments are closed.