One of the early jargon phrases I had to learn in my career, even saying it out of office hours for practice, is “manage expectations”. I have to manage the boss expectations, the media, the guy next door, the office boy, the nagging saleswoman…I manage them away.
The first phrase I blurt to show the I-know-what-I’m-talking-about is “we need to manage expectations” and “I am only trying to meet their expectations”. In no time, it was set on repeat in my brain.
“The cobbler’s children always go barefoot.” Joel Brown
So as I go on my usual routine of mentioning how we have to- yes you guessed it- manage expectations, it hit me. I do not practice this. I am an addict of expectations (you can read my confession on this here), and have despite my numerous attempts to allow for sudden events to prove to be blessings or opportunities, flipped on the sight of an expectation not met. I expect to be recognized for my work, expect for my friends to show up when we decide to meet, I expect my loved ones to treat me as their priority and listen to my problems and share my laughter even if we all had a bad week. There you have it, I EXPECT!
“What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.” Chuck Palahniuk
Gut feeling: So, it seems we have a problem
Brain: what’s that?
Gut feeling: we are not managing expectations
Heart: are you kidding, you just said it in the meeting with the boss today, you are Acing the phrase!
Gut feeling: our expectations I mean.
Brain: my expectations are realistic. People are just not competent and it is not my fault if I am smarter and more organised.
*goes back to writing notes on why Brain is disappointed
Heart: I know, I felt down the other day when you told me we are meeting friends and then we didn’t. I felt lonely
Gut feeling: Guys, focus, we are talking about managing our expectations not feelings
Heart: but feelings are part of everything
Brain: Heart, shut up right now, you are making me vulnerable
Heart: but…isn’t that the point?!
Gut feeling: you did it now. Manage heart’s expectations!
“If, from time to time, you give up expectation, you will be able to perceive what it is you are getting.” Idries Sh