I write a blog article and expect that it would be appreciated by the readers. I write an exam and expect that I would get good marks. I send a mail to a friend and expect that she would reply soon. I post a tweet and expect that people will re-tweet it. I update my status in Facebook and expect that people would comment on it. I expect favorable results from meetings - personal as well as official.
We have expectation from events. We have expectation from people. We have expectation from our own actions.
Expectation keep me on my toes. I check mails frequently to see if she has replied. I keep on checking whether there are any comments on my post. Technology made the checking process easier, e.g., push mail and instant notifications. I call-up the (meeting) attendees and ask for update. Sometimes it becomes obsessive.
In MBA class we were taught expectation management on a different context. Actual performance minus expectation (expected performance) is satisfaction. In a business dealing managing your client’s expectation is important. In the class, I remember students giving stakeholder expectation management as one of the solutions to every business problem statement that the professor mentioned. Is it not also important to manage one’s own expectations?
I sometimes resolve that I won’t expect anything. It’s a bit cynical. There is a phrase in Bhagavad Gita which my father told me when I was a school student. It says - do your work to your level best but do not think of the results. The result will automatically follow. But it is not clear on whether to resist the temptation to know the result after you have done the work. Nevertheless, I could not keep this resolution for long. Sometimes it’s damn frustrating.
So how to manage our expectations? Keep ourselves so busy with things so that we don’t get time to expect or consciously telling ourselves not to expect whenever that feeling comes. I am clueless. Do you have something to suggest?