A few weeks ago while on a road trip with my wife, we were listening to a podcast when I came across a quote that resonated deeply with me. We were listening to Busy Philipps’ new podcast Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best. Busy was talking to comedian Ron Funches when he said:
Get rid of all expectations, but don’t lose hope.– Ron Funches
Although Ron was talking about how he learned to deal with his son’s autism diagnosis, I found that this was an approach to life that we should all be adopting.
This idea has been popping up in my mind frequently since that day. I’ve long known that I am a person who puts expectations on everything. When I’m cooking, I expect the meal will turn out spectacularly and if things go wrong, even only slightly, I get upset. When I plan out a series of tasks/chores to accomplish, I put expectations down on how and when they will all be done. If something comes to shift around my “plans”, then I get upset, even if I haven’t vocalized my expectations to anyone else. When we go somewhere, I have expectations as to how things will happen. If they don’t go as I had envisioned it, I can get upset. You can see the pattern.
I’ve been consciously working on this for some time now, but Ron’s voicing of such a simple mindset really triggered me. This has now become a mantra that I follow. I’ve started repeating it to both myself and my wife when we start talking about plans, vacations, future events. Recently, her mother underwent surgery. As we discussed how things were likely going to go following the surgery, I again repeated my new refrain. “Get rid of all expectations, but don’t lose hope.”
While it’s okay to have expectations in life, we can’t keep getting hung up on them. It’s better to put your intention out into the universe, visualize how you want it to work out, but don’t expect that it will go exactly as you envisioned. Just hold on to hope.
As I write these words, we have just returned to an orange level in our area. We’ve had a breakout of COVID-19 in the community, with some 30+ new cases being diagnosed in the past few days. This is more than 10% of the total cases reported in our province since the beginning of the pandemic. We’ve been both lucky and cautious for most of the year.
Many people will get upset by the news. This will inconvenience businesses and individuals alike. But don’t let go of hope. I feel that a large percentage of our population felt like we had overcome the worst of it and were expecting things to stay the same. As my mentor François Lemay says – tout change. Everything changes. So let go of our expectations and let’s keep hope alive.
Do you carry expectations in your life? Are you, like me, someone who gets upset when things don’t go as you planned? What do you do to minimize your expectations?