Expectations – How They Can Transform Our Happiness

Some Expectations can be Good for Us

We all have expectations but how do we know which expectations are good for us and which ones aren’t? I hear you say “Some are good and some are bad?” In fact, some expectations can transform your happiness, in a positive or a negative way. Some expectations are just better for well-being and harmony. Now ‘bad’ expectations doesn’t mean life-threatening, but it does mean that they aren’t guiding us along our highest path.

An example is a conversation I recently held with a friend. She wanted to know why her daughter-in-law wasn’t grateful for a present received. After all, if that was her receiving it, she would have at least thanked the giver. Her expectations were that her daughter-in-law would act in a particular way. It was expected and the outcome never arrived. Therefore, the consequences could be resentment, anger or disappointment.

What she came to understand was that her expectations of how someone should act were determining her ability to feel good. But it’s never a solitary incident. When we can find one example in our lives of expecting people to respond in a particular way, then there will be many others. The experience is never isolated.

Where Did the Pattern of Expectations come from?

We are trained at an early age how to expect others to act and what to do when they react. Our parents didn’t even have to tell us what to expect, they taught us by their example. When we witnessed our mother get upset about something her sister said that was ‘mean’, our example is that others being mean to us determined our mood.

We can eventually come to the conclusion that unless those around us are happy, we can’t be happy either. So we work really hard to make others happy. It’s simple and its logical. Where the formula comes unstuck is when those outside our circle don’t know about these rules. For instance in marriages and extended families.

It’s not even about expecting other’s to do certain things (though that could be a part of it), but it’s expecting people to act in a certain way. And when they don’t, we are upset, angry or disappointed and we think it’s their fault. Our mood becomes one of blame.

How Can we get Expectations to Transform our Happiness?

When we recognize these expectations as our own, we can let go of how others respond, as the indicator of our mood. In other words, we can be happy no matter what others think and feel.

This is the only way we can move beyond limiting expectations, of ourselves or others. We allow expectations to hold us back without even realizing it. Nobody else is involved it holding us back, only our self-created expectations. This is where expectations can transform your happiness.

It’s much better to make peace with our own expectations and let others act the way they want, no matter what that is. Make peace with them and allow the expectations to dissolve. (I’ll record a meditation for that.)

Having expectations of others is a way of sabotaging our own happiness. It’s handing our personal power over to someone else. Yet, we deserve to feel powerful and in charge of our own lives.

How Can We Use Expectations to our Advantage?

Believe it or not expectations can be an amazing tool for manifestation. Because you can have positive expectations or doubt.

How can there possibly be good expectations? Well, expectations can be absolutely uplifting because they create excitement about what’s to come.

For instance, we may be living a mundane or boring lifestyle, but have expectations that it will change for the better. Creating expectations in our minds that life will be filled with our wildest dreams, moves us in the direction of what we want. It changes our mood and sets the tone of the day.

We give our dreams, goals and desires momentum by the expectations we hold. Expecting to feel great today, can reroute our path to one that is fun and uplifting for both ourselves and others. Even if nothing in particular, seems to happen to change our circumstances. The underlying expectation of excitement builds momentum in that direction.

There are rules for Great Expectations

  1. Don’t rely on others to fulfill your dreams
  2. Outcomes have no bearing on another’s actions
  3. Dreams aren’t reliant on those around you to act in a particular way
  4. Let go of any perceived outcome

When we leave our expectations of others or the outcome of the experience out of the equation, our lives transform. They become happy and much more fulfilled. There is purpose in our actions and meaning in our lives.

In conclusion, say yes to expecting life to be wonderful. It’s an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Our expectations feed our soul and expand our minds. They become joy on steroids and they’re necessary to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

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Who am I?


Someone once told me (a well-respected mentor) that people need “experts” to live a life they value… and I didn’t believe them.

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