We live in a world of expectations. We are expected to be good parents, sons, daughters, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and others that I have probably missed. But, what about our expectations for our own lives? What do we expect to accomplish with our lives outside of others expectations?
Parents seem to be doing more doing for their kids instead of being with them. This isn’t a cheat shot at parents. Parenting is a challenging and vacation-less pursuit that lasts at least 18 years. Sometimes, all your kids need is 10 minutes of your time and not money for the latest video game. Instead of your kids thinking that Blackberry’s are phones, let them know that they are also a fruit that has been around since before TV (back in the “Electronic” Dark Ages). Why not take them to a berry farm and pick blackberries as a family?
It is time to consider the expectations for your life. There are two types of expectations. First, there are outcome expectations which are “Thinking from the End.” Second, there are efficiency expectations which are “Thinking about the Process.”
Outcome expectations are what goals to we want to accomplish in this life. What are the “Ends” that you want? Do you want inner peace? What about a satisfying romantic relationship? How about good friends? When we start to think about all of what we want from life it can become a daunting task that seems never-ending or impossible. Especially, when many of our life goals overlap. Don’t we want our romantic partner to also be a best friend?
I would make a list of what you want in your obituary. Kinda morbid but a great starting point. Ok, really morbid but life isn’t all roses until you expect that it is. Patanjali said, “There is nothing wrong in my world.” I would suggest that you write Patanjali’s statement and carry it with you. It will really help you. Stop reading this article and make the list. Once you have the list, review it. What will you need to do to have that obituary? Narrow it down to the 5 most important goals. This is the starting point of the second part of expectations which is efficiency expectations that is in my next column.