Life Lessons

Expectations: Pitfalls for Disappointment? Or Setup for Greatness!

Usually, I’d wait till I had defined answers and a set thought frame on a topic before posting on it. But I don’t have all the answers. I’d love to read your thoughts and know what you think on this dicey topic.

I’m going to share two schools of thoughts regarding expectations. The point is to express your view and then know where to strike a balance.

First School of Thought:

Expectations as pitfalls for disappointment

A certain someone once said and I quote:

Learning to lower your expectations might potentially make you happier.

“I’m learning to lower my expectations in life in order to be happy. Whenever I get something above my expectation level, it then comes as a pleasant surprise.”

This mindset helps in viewing life as a gift and everything in it. It also helps in dealing away with the entitlement mentality (the mind frame of all that you think you’re owed or feel you deserve).

Expectations; particularly high or perhaps unrealistic ones, can be pitfalls for disappointment. A point where you potentially fall off your high horse. A reality check so to say; deviation from the world of fantasy.

While expectations are things that are individualized and relative, they can bring about varying life experiences to people.

Constantly falling short of your own expectations can bring about great dissatisfaction, the feeling of underachieving…

Second School of Thought:

Expectations as a setup for Greatness

Some might say setting your expectation low would guarantee mediocrity.

The goal is to aim high right? Like the saying goes:

Reach for the moon, you’d at least fall among the stars…

Let me rephrase, expect a lot from yourself and you’d surely be amazed by your own results.

However, I think there’s a need to be gracious in interpersonal relationships and adjust our mindset about others.

One might say it’d result in being taken for granted, or underperformance especially in corporate settings. Some believe pushing people, demanding greatness from them, and setting high standards would make them step up, but it could also backfire badly.

Like I said, It’s dicey.


What I’d say is always be appreciative of others and reward yourself for your own personal achievements.

Positive reinforcements always work great. Be gracious to yourself and with others.

So what are your viewpoints on Expectations? I would really love to hear them.

6 thoughts on “Expectations: Pitfalls for Disappointment? Or Setup for Greatness!”

  1. Like you rightly said in your article but I’ll rephrase it: when it comes to expectations, expects the very best from yourself ( and not for yourself which can lead to disappointment), while expecting the least from others. It will help with having a positive outlook in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On Expectation: pitfalls for disappointment or Set ups for greatness, is a what I’d like to call a balance of stories from the legendary writer Chinua Achebe. It’s good to strike a balance between this thoughts. One is without the other in life. So, I say, to be whole in life is to have the two in check and balance. Thanks for the enlightening and succinct piece. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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