Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Let me tell you why expectations are unavoidable.
Why is it when we try something for the first time we set an expectation.
I was told by a therapist that setting expectations leads to less disappointments. This I find is true for the most part. However of course I question everything, I feel this is the only way you can truly comprehend something and in return grow from it.
What are expectations? Why does our perception change according to the expectations we set for ourselves and for others? Who decides the importance of the expectations? Why do expectations matter and why do we place value on them?
You wake up in the morning and you find yourself contemplating what to wear. Do you decided what to wear based on the expectations/standards you have set for yourself, or based on what other people expect you to wear? How do you know which plays a role in your decision making or do both factors matter? If so then why?
We expect to have a good job, good education, good life, good car, good girlfriend, good day. Why? Is it us who expect this or do others expect this from us?
When we have a bad haircut, bad movie experience, or a bad time at work we tend to take it out on the people around us, it affects our mood, and it will effect our decisions which we make in the future. Who considers these things bad? Is it what you expected before you went and experienced theses things that ultimately was the deciding factor for what is bad and what is good.
I have written about perception, and I have explained how someone else's observation of you can impact your decision making. So how does expectation fit in all of this?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and what we do unfortunately is influenced not just by other people's expectations but also by our own.
When we experience something for the first time we set ourselves a standard as to what to expect from that experience for when we do it the second time. If our friend has experienced it before us and tells us what to expect we go into that experience with already a biased opinion.
We are biased creatures in nature. We hold strong accountability on experiences that we have not experienced yet. Do you see how bizarre this is?
We already know that everyone's experience is unique to themselves. If I read a book, I will find in that book lessons that I feel matter to me, and you might already know those lessons or overlook them because you find something else that matters to you.
Yet when we read a good review about a movie, or restaurant the standard is set. We judge the experience critically. As opposed to something that does not have a good review, our expectations are lowered and we are easier to please because if the experience super exceeds our expectations it would give us pleasure.
"Always under promise and over deliver"
A great read by mihaly csikszentmihalyi, Flow, he explains about the difference of pleasure and enjoyment. How the latter serves us and the former defeats us. We can find enjoyment in everything we do if we get into the state of flow. Knowing what you are doing at every moment, being focused and clear.
By being in the state of flow with what you are doing, expectations do not matter. We forget the everyday frustrations, and we lose the self consciousness, the ego, and what others think.
Do the review and rating systems for services and products kill the experience for the user? Hypothetically yes. However, it is an excellent marketing tool to attract more people to your business because people enjoy opulence, especially when it is affordable.
Communities are made up of people and they matter. People listen to people, people trust people, so much so that they will expect the same result that they got from their experience.
Going back to the therapist I mentioned at the beginning. What did she mean that expectations matter? Well not having set expectations means that you can disappoint the other person you are with if they expect something different than you. I can definitely see how that can be.
For example; if you are going to the beach with someone and you have an ulterior motive to meet someone else there, and the person you are going with is expecting to relax, then it would cause some friction between the two of you.
However, if that person is easy going and does not have any expectations then there would be no issue.
The message here is be both transparent and lose your self of entitlement, and your expectations. When you have zero expectations it is easier for you to relax and enjoy the outcome of the experience.
My friend and I decided to go do a float house here in Vancouver. My friend walked in with a bias opinion because his friend has just opened up a float house in Calgary. However I had no opinion at all. After the experience who do you think enjoyed it more? You guessed it, I found the experience really relaxing and I would definitely go back again.
Companies set a standard, for example Apple has the highest quality of Laptops and music devices, the Ipod. Now they are met with these standards by their clients. You see more complaints because peoples expectations are not met. Does this mean you should set a low standard for your business? Most certainly not.
When expectations are set you become responsible for your business, your word, and your actions.
“At any moment in life you can convert to realism, which is not a belief system at all, but a way of looking at the world. It means every circumstance, every individual is different, and your task is to measure that difference, then take appropriate action. Your eyes are fixed on the world, not on yourself or your ego." Robert Greene and 50 cent.
Do you ever find yourself saying "you too" to someone who is ending a conversation with you expecting them to say to you "have a good day". We respond before we even hear what they say because of our expectations. Listen before you respond, don't assume or expect.
Our expectorations can act as safeguards for our lives, for example we know that the stove will be hot when we turn it on.
I suppose what bothers me the most is that we have all these expectations and they can be both good and bad for us, yet we tend to forget the most important expectation of all. Our expectation on meeting our goals. The ones who do this are the ones who win. They always keep an open mind and they are focus and clear about their intentions.
Thank you for reading this post, I hope it is what you expected. To be continued....
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