Saturday, February 16, 2013

Life is about... expectations

The other night around midnight, Edwin awoke as usual with a brief fussy noise which quickly escalated to a cry. I reached into the co-sleeper and the moment he felt his hands on me, he switched from his "I'm awake, come get me" cry to his "I want to eat" cry (which goes something like, "La! La!' Ra!") And, as he now has learned to anticipate, I picked him up out of his bed, nestled him next to me, and he began to eat. Expectation met.

One of the greatest things about being a new parent is looking at the world through the eyes of a baby. This little experience made me think about my own expectations for life. What if it was that easy? What if I just thought, "I want this," and alerted others to my desire. Would it just happen?

Obviously, it takes more than that to get what you want out of life. But does it take that much more? You want a promotion, you ask for it. Maybe you don't get it right away, but if your boss knows of your ambition and tells you what you need to do to rise to the top, you're much more likely to get it than if you said nothing. Expectation met.

Or let's say you want to get in shape. Instead of keeping your desire to yourself, you tell everyone what you want. You talk to your friends, you post it on Facebook, you Tweet it out into the universe, you join a site like that helps you track your goal. Research has proven that you're much more likely to stay on the path to getting in shape if others hold you accountable. Expectation met.

It's not going to be as easy as Edwin has it right now. As adults, there's no one permanent, physical caregiver figure taking care of our every need. But you can trust that the world will be your caregiver if you tell it what you want and then work for the desired results. Communicate to your boss, your family, random strangers- whoever needs to know- what your expectations are. Get feedback from them. Use the feedback to help you get where you want to go. And bingo. Expectation met.

Of course, in order for these positive changes to happen, you need to create those expectations in the first place. You need to have high standards for yourself, and believe you can meet them. If you don't, you're likely to live an unexamined, unfulfilling, rut-driven life. If you do, you're likely to live a rich, full existence where the future is always bright.

And that, my friends, is why life is about expectations.

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