I grew up in a generation where having expectations was a good and normal thing, a motivator, a bar to reach for. It still is. This word – expectations – has been rolling around in my brain for a while now. So, I looked it up for some context. Generally, it is described as a strong belief or hope that something will happen, be that the case in the future or that you will get or achieve something that you want.
The word is also linked with the potential that disappointment could be right around the corner. Hence, the many quotes I found that expressed the idea – “NO EXPECTATIONS – NO DISAPPOINTMENT.” I prefer to embrace a different, more positive view. I’ve learned that I’m much more likely to “succeed,” make progress and reach goals if I place some expectations on myself. The danger zone for me is when expectations sit on the edge of “perfect.”
I’m pretty certain that Italian car driver, Alex Zanardi, expected to be racing beyond 2001, when he lost his legs in an IndyCar race in Germany. He probably wasn’t “expecting” to become a four-time, gold-medal winning Paralympic hand cyclist either. If you’re interested in that story, here’s a link to follow. I know that I wasn’t expecting to do anything more than take pictures and learn how to be a better photographer when I bought my first camera in between two breast cancer diagnoses. Nowhere on my radar did I see photographer, educator, writer, mentor and presenter/speaker – not even close.