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Category: Think Different (page 2 of 2)

The strange thing about expectations

We all know it’s good to manage our own expectations, right? Especially when it comes to ourselves.

And it couldn’t be that hard to manage. I mean, we’re smart people so what else do we have to do but look out for them right?

Er, not really. In practice we’re probably falling for two strange characteristics of expectations.

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What matters is the stuff we can’t see

On others

We love to obsess over other people: what they look like, what they do, what they say.

We try to guess what this or that successful person is like, and how they did it. We look at that person across the room at a party and we think we know all about them.

We then spend an insane amount of time debating what we know from all this (or rather what we think know).

And we think it’s all important. The truth is none of all that matters.

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Fight for, not against

Recently I’ve been wondering if I’ve been trying to fight myself too much.

I get into trying to do the right thing, into “overcome myself” and my own “resistance”, and trying to “push my own comfort zone”. Sometimes it’s sounds like I’m trying to be anything but myself.

I’m all for pushing comfort zones and it’s often an amazing way to grow.

But there are times when thinking of ourselves as the enemy feels decidedly counter-productive. It’s an unnecessary use of mental energy because our minds will fight back, simply because there is someone pushing us.

Wanting to change for the better isn’t the same thing as fighting against who we are now, even though sometimes it feels like it is.

What if instead of fighting against ourselves, we fight for what we value and fight alongside who we are now, like comrades-in-arms?

We can then be our own champion and partner in crime as we try new (and sometimes challenging) things.

The space

Every journey begins from a place of not knowing what will come, of not having what we wish to have, of not being where we want to be or who we want to be.

It begins with space, an emptiness if you will, that is to be filled with the richness of the process, the fruits of our labour to come.

Having this space also means being aware (sometimes painfully) of its emptiness. At times we might have to let other things go to make the space.

Yet to begin a journey, this is necessary. We have to embrace the absence so that we may appreciate presence.

It is not just about physical or mental space. It is also the space we create in our hearts to accommodate that which we commit to, the openness to accept whatever may come.

And it is the keeping of that space open for the journey, especially in times of difficulty, that makes it possible to complete it and bring something new into our lives.

There is no power or freedom without responsibility

(A reminder to myself)

I have the power and choice to live life the way I want to.
To live by my own rules, and not by anyone else’s.
To do what I choose, and not do what I don’t.
To live at my own pace, as fast or slow as I want.
To enjoy what I like.
To love what I love.
To be with who I want to be with.
To says “yes”, to say “no”.
To avoid what I’m not ready for.
To be who I choose to be.
To be who I am.
To choose the difficult path, or the easy one.
To slack off, to work extra hard.
To push myself, or to let things slide.

BUT… to do that I must take full responsibility for my life and all my choices.
For all the consequences of my actions.
For my reactions.
For my mistakes.
For my work.
For my words.
For my successes, for my failures.
For my situation.
For my body.
For my thoughts and emotions.
For bringing joy, or sadness, to the world.
For my growth.
For my progress, or lack of it.

There is no power or freedom without responsibility.

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