You’re supposed to succeed before you’re 40.
The right relationship will “just click”.
Good will, eventually, win.
The geek will get the girl.
Those expectations are rarely our own. They’re from our parents, our peers, our environment. From the stories we’re told and the stories we tell ourselves.
Expectations have power. They shape our lives. Not in some kind of bullshit wish-fulfillment “The Secret” kind of way, but through the lens that we look at the world. Think that someone’s a jerk? You’ll find plenty of evidence. Think that someone’s wonderful? You’ll find plenty of evidence there as well. 23-skiddoo.
Once you find that evidence, you react to it. You shut doors. Open windows. Close some opportunities, refocus your energy elsewhere to create others.
Those expectations are usually hidden from us. And while our decisions are logical, our “givens” – the assumptions we make about the world – can be wildly off-base.
So look to your goals. Look to what you want to achieve, to have, to love.
Question the assumptions and expectations that keep you from getting there. Question them hard. Shine the light in their faces and interrogate them in a bad accent until they reveal where they come from, why you hold them.
Then, and only then, decide whether or not to keep your expectations.
Or whether or not to throw them in the trash.