It is my biggest demon. It is what I believe is holding me back from a life of joy and happiness. It is the excuse I use when I cannot get my shit together in my own mind for why life is the way it is.
Likely it will be an ongoing theme and battle for a while, my battle with/against/because of expectation.
That idea is not fair to expectation, however. Expectation can be a strong motivating force. It can be that push when you feel like you have nothing left in the tank but are so close. Expectation can bring hope in what may seem like an otherwise hopeless situation.
What it really is that consistently brings me down is when I become disappointed when expectations are not met. The idea that if I work harder than anyone else, I will get a raise or a promotion at my next review. The idea that if my wife is more flirtatious than usual that it might lead to something else later in the evening. The idea that if I followed all the rules and made no mistakes that I will win.
Every single one of those expectations are perfectly reasonable and realistic in my mind. There is absolutely no reason why the simple formula of (if a then b) is not cut and dry. These are failsafe expectations, right?
It is all bullshit!
I still cannot let go of the belief that I can control what it outside of myself.
Despite my best efforts I have no control over the financial distribution of my employer. I have no control over the free will of my spouse. I have no control over the outcome of anything other than my role in it.
I can influence that which is outside myself, but I cannot control it.
As someone who thrives in order and structure versus chaos and chance, this truth is an extremely hard pill to swallow. I know there are people out there who love the idea that the best life is one that is left to chance. I am not one of those people.
I am the person who believes the best life can be hacked and figured out by an algorithm which determines the greatest path to and probability of one’s desired outcome. AI paired with strong computing power should be able provide data-backed guidance any day now.
Maybe my biggest demon is not expectation, but rather chance?