Growing up, I was always grappling with expectations from a form of authority- a teacher, a parent, a leader of the group. They all taught me that I needed to be stricter and harder on myself to get things right, to not only minimize mistakes but to be afraid of them because “to make mistakes” is “to fail”. This is what our education system has taught us about life.
However, this is an illusion.
Illusions are dangerous- they assume no flaws. The assumed understanding that failure is an “end all, be all”- this is not true outside of the education system. Making mistakes and failure is used to shape the difficult questions. When one door closes, another one opens- so long as you seek to find it. Otherwise you will find yourself staring at a closed door, wondering how you can open it up again, or even worse, believing that there is no other choice- which is the real costly mistake. Failing fast means a piece of the answer is revealed- that a part of the question is not quite right. It can be reframed or shifted. And where one door closes, another is available to open if you would just look around the corner for it.
Expectations intoxicate our relationship with failure. We shouldn’t have expectations- but rather, aspirations in which we work towards, however long it takes us, wherever the evolving questions lead us. Expectations breeds narrow sight, unnatural force, and debilitation after failure. It defines a fine-lined path for the infallible, forgetting the human is just the opposite.
Don’t lose resilience to the churn of expectations.
Don’t let expectation dull the glint of curiosity in your eyes.