I begin writing this with no preconceptions or preconceived notions of what I’m going to write. Sometimes you need to let go of preconceptions and assumptions and expectations, and let the thoughts and words flow. That’s how all of this began, and that’s how it’s going to continue.
Structure is a good thing, in the right amount. The unconscious is like an out-of-focus lens, and consciousness is the focusing of the lens. We have the ability to focus and defocus, zoom in and out.
When things get too complicated, the best thing to do is simplify. Get back to basics. Start over.
On the journey of self-improvement (it’s a journey not a destination), you never know what’s going to be a profoundly transformative experience. Right now, my big transformation is letting go of living up to my parents’ expectations, which ultimately is what letting go of approval seeking is all about. There’s a feeling of grief and sadness in saying goodbye to an old version of myself.
Much of self-improvement is preparation. You prepare yourself–spirit, thoughts, emotions, body–for that moment when something ignites your soul on fire. While it’s exhilarating to expand into a greater version of yourself, there must be a cooling down period in which things must reform.
We can never go back to the way things were, but sometimes we want to. When we can stop wanting to go back, then we can truly go forward. We have to want to change before it can happen.
Expectations are beliefs about how likely or not we think we’re going to accomplish what we want. One of the things about being a visionary is that sometimes you get slowed down by your own limited expectations and those of others. It’s not that our dreams are too big, it’s that our expectations are too small.
My days are spent massaging, relaxing, and soothing the resistance (aka negative expectations) I have to my desires. I’ve always believed that I’m supposed to have what I want, otherwise why would I want it? I’ve learned that it’s not my wanting something that’s the problem, it’s the contrary beliefs that I hold – for whatever reason – against my desires that’s the problem.
I’ve already done extraordinary things in my life, and I’ll continue to do more. I see that any unhappiness I feel really comes from limiting beliefs about myself, others, the world, and life. Sometimes other people have limiting beliefs, and this is only a problem if you accept their beliefs as your own. You have to find a way to go forward with your dream and vision, while allowing others to have their own beliefs. Trying to change someone’s beliefs is a waste of time.
Don’t defy other people’s beliefs, but do defy your own. I always challenge my beliefs. I don’t take my assumptions and opinions (and everything is an opinion, even so-called facts) at face value. I realize that I don’t know everything, and I’m probably more wrong than right most of the time, but we all have inner guidance which lets us know what’s right for us – not anyone else – and that’s all we need.
If you’re going to set goals, why not set the highest goals you can? Life is often compared to a game, so why not aim to win? Of course, you can just play for fun, but that’s not really a goal, and I’m getting ahead of myself.
My belief is that goals which really matter to us come from our deepest wishes and desires. Goals that are true to ourselves have more meaning to us, and we’re naturally passionate about achieving them.
With that said, I’m learning to lower my expectations. Once I get clear about the goals I want to achieve, I set them aside and focus on what I can accomplish today. For example, if my goal is to write a book, I don’t expect to write a book on any given day. Instead, I expect myself to write. Ideally, I’d be writing my book or an article for GBM, but the point is, I need to write in order to reach my goal (and don’t get me started on whether I expect myself to write well).
By all means, dare to have the loftiest, most passionate goals you can dream of, but realize that your expectations will be constantly reality checked every single day.
The trick is to aim for the stars, while taking one step at a time.
Spirit Rover footage by NASA via Wikimedia
I can choose my attitude. That may be the only real choice I have. One of the attitudes I can have is to look upon life, its unfolding, as an opportunity to grow, rather than whether it met my expectations, or fit into some kind of story about how things should be.
A plant’s purpose is to grow. It doesn’t have expectations about where the sunlight is coming from, or what kind of pot it’s in.
We can be disappointed in our story. We were expecting Snow White but instead got Cinderella. But you know, maybe both of those are worth listening to, and if we let go of our expectations we can enjoy whatever story happens to be unfolding; the story of our life.
Everyone’s got their kinks, hangups, unique or special way of doing and understanding things. It’s the way our circuits are wired. We can either judge each other because of our kinks, or look upon them as something we have in common. We’re all the same because we’re all different.
Experiment with living without expectations. Let go of long held beliefs. Surrender to the Universe. I guarantee you that the Ego will have a fit, and before long will attempt to control things again. That’s fine. That’s a kind of contraction. Learn to release the tension. Letting go is more powerful than holding on.
There’s a difference between control and controlling. Let go of controlling things. You can be in control without being controlling. Controlling means wanting to control everything that happens. Figure out what you can control, focus on that, and let go of the rest.
Let’s trust and be open to love. Love is meant to happen. We’re not meant to hate each other. In our hearts, we know we’re meant to love one another. The stories we hold onto will dictate whether we live a life filled with love, or a life filled with regret.