A hideous betrayal of all our hopes

The problem is not that life is insecure, the problem is that we expect it to feel secure. 

And that foredooms us to bitterness and disappointment. 

Here’s how it typically works. 

The world falls short of our fantasy, other people fail to fulfill the assignments we mentally give them, and the future stubbornly refuses to unfold exactly as we expect it to. 

Then we feel like a failure and start being unkind to ourselves. 

But instead of maturely wondering about our role in the problem, we chalk it up to something external. As a friend of mine likes to say:

Blaming the red light for conspiring to make us late. 

And so, how do we respond to the crooked, confusing and overwhelming nature of the world with calmness, grace and understanding? By developing a healthier perspective on our own personal expectations. Learning how to get ahead of the story before we become it. 

There’s a cognitive behavioral therapy program, which is a combination of breath awareness and mindfulness meditation, that helps me daily with this issue. Through a series of customized incantations, this program allows me to practice the art of expecting nothing. 

It’s remarkable. By literally announcing to myself, multiple times a day, that I am expecting nothing, it not only relaxes me in the moment, but also dramatically reduces my grieving time when and if calamity strikes. 

It’s one of my favorite tools for coping with an external world that will not submit to my imagined demands. 

The good news is, how each of us responds to the world is ours alone. 

There’s no reason to treat life’s circumstances as a hideous betrayal of all our hopes. 


Are you expectations serving or frustrating you?
* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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