Oh, expectations. How you have a way of ruining things

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Monday, December 17

Good morning out there good people –
 
Obstacles. That’s what this week is shining the light of joy on -- all the things we let roll over the good so we can’t see what is right there for us to enjoy.
 
During this past year’s year-long Joy Jar Project, some participants responded to my request for the biggest obstacle they had noticed getting in the way of their joy. I fully expect you will be able to relate to quite a lot of them in the Joy Obstacles attachment. Maybe all, which just goes to show how very many barriers are right there, just waiting to take us by the arm and walk us down a dark path. So this week we’re going to figure out what one of our own big barriers to joy is – maybe our biggest – and be on the watch for how frequently it crops up so that we can say No thank you. I know going with you is an option, but I’m going this-a-way.
 
Oh, expectations. How you have a way of ruining things
Expectations are mine. They are tricky because they’re not just all good or all bad, though low expectations seem all bad. If we have low expectations for our own achievements, then that’s potentially the cap we have set for ourselves. Where is thinking big and shooting for the stars with no expectations, after all?
 
On the other hand, for instance, I have a blog and of course am highly dedicated to the analytics page to see how many visitors and views have passed on through. When I first started out, I had entertained fantasies about having a million instant readers along with a book deal following within the first month. I have since downscaled my expectations. (I mean like by almost a million.) And then downscaled some more. And some more, as I became old hat to even a few of the old faithfuls who rarely came around.
 
But then I realized something. On the last 2 – 3 days of the blog cycle before I’m scheduled to post again, I have essentially zero expectations for any company, but when someone ambles along on those days it is just so unexpected and wonderful! And I’m saying a heartfelt, thank you, thank you so much to each person who drops on by. And if they hung out and did a clean sweep of all the past stories, or even just a few...I’m about overcome with gratitude.
 
So I decided why not just have zero expectations all the time? Why not just be immensely grateful for every single visit and view instead of setting a benchmark to beat? Great idea, right? Except it’s counter to the way business operates. If I don’t have a goal, an ambition, then how will I know when I get there? That I’m performing well? Or that what I’m doing is working?
 
Or is it? Who says I can’t be smart about opportunities to pinpoint my right audience and expand my reach AND have zero expectation for any visitor at all so I can truly appreciate each and every one of them, and be amazed by the wonderfulness of it all? So that this thing I love doing adds to my life rather than makes me mad and runs off with my spirit and sense of purpose?
 
So that’s what I’ve been going with. Or trying to go with. And while I’m pretty sure some expectations are still crouched in the corner somewhere, what I have gotten pretty good at is saying thank you thank you thank you even when only one person shows up. And being pretty darn happy with them.
 
Send ‘em my way
I would LOVE to hear from you all about what expectations you discovered crouching in a corner and what you were able to enjoy when you said no thank you, I’m going to go this-a-way. Send my way and I will gather up in an expectation document, no names, to share next Monday.
 
Speaking of low expectations….this is about the best holiday advice I have ever come across….
 
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A good time to go easy with yourself. Have a beautiful Monday.
 
Elizabeth

Joy-obstacles.pdf