Do You Appreciate or Expect?


You hold the key to happiness in your life. A lot of it has to do with your expectations.


What are your expecting from your partner, employer, or neighbors? Even yourself?


Expectations can lead to great disappointment. Especially when you have never communicated to the other people those expectations.


The sad part is that I never realized I was supposed to share that information. I just thought they knew what I expected. How crazy is that?
I believe many people are in the same boat as I was. I’ve talked to many wives frustrated with their husband for not noticing what needs to be done around the house, like take out the trash when it’s full. It is obvious to us but easily goes unseen.


What I have found out, is they are usually willing, if you tell them what you’d like or give them their “honey do list.”


Bo and I talk a lot about how hard it is to know these type of tips for more peaceful and accepting communication when you begin in your relationship unless it was modeled for you, or life’s experiences. Usually the school of hard knocks.


What lessons life presents. I assumed people would do things my way without communicating what that was. Then I didn’t get to the appreciation of what they did since I was thinking it was their job to do it.


As a principal, I presumed teachers would do their lesson plans a certain way. It was a district requirement. It let me know they were teaching certain outcomes required at their grade level. But, what I now realize, I didn’t outwardly appreciate their efforts and share gratitude about how it made it better for all of us. I just expected that was part of their job so they should do it.


Or, like I expect beds to be made when you get up. I like a tidy, orderly household. So when they make up their beds, I could show more appreciation because it makes me feel better.


It’s okay to have expectations.


Too often, you are frustrated, disappointed and resentful towards others because of something they didn’t do that you expected.


Stop and ask yourself if you communicated the expectation and if you followed-up with acknowledging how much they have helped you.


Think about how much better you feel about doing something if you are acknowledged and appreciated, and know what others want you to do.


It then feels like a reciprocal relationship. I honor you, you honor me.


Expectations from both sides work when it is known and agreed. Then you can appreciate and enjoy what each person shares.


Have you talked to your partner about what you expect from your relationship, like roles you each play, behaviors you like, or knowing your love languages?


Have you talked to your children, parents, siblings or friends about the rules you both want for being in a relationship together? What are your expectations? I remember listening to Tony Robbins talk about this subject. He said one of his friends was upset with him because he didn’t talk to him weekly. Tony had no idea that’s what his friend thought good friends do. Tony knew there was no way he could do that because of his life and the work he does. But, he appreciated that his friend told him what was bothering him. Then they could work out a way to stay connected that felt right and realistic to both.


Other ways expectations can hinder your joy, peace and fun are like when you travel or where you’re involved with service transactions. Most of us expect our travels to go smoothly. Most of the time it does. There are delays and cancellations with air travel or road construction. How could you expect the best from it and appreciate the efforts made when they have to juggle hundreds of schedules due to weather, things beyond their control?


Take notice if appreciation could reward or enhance your experience.


When I can step back, I amazed at how many things do go right.


I know how much easier life goes when you can appreciate others and when you are grateful for all others do to make your life better.


I know for sure the more appreciation and gratitude you can show, the more you will receive in your life.


Take time now to look at where your expectations are causing you grief. How can you trade your expectations for appreciation to live a more peaceful, loving life?