Great Expectations

Naming this post after that awful Dickens novel because nothing else witty has expectations, it’s not really an awful novel but I really didn’t love my English teacher who taught me this one. I had this torrid hate for that woman, I would say it was an unfounded hate but I truly wasn’t the best student in those days (if I’m honest I’m still a terrible student nowadays – I’m just slightly better at my subjects, which ironically somehow pisses teachers off even more) I would write these awful stories about experiences that would be horribley long and boring and only of interest to me. I would then berate her privately for my low marks (of course she probably heard my berating – it’s remarkable what people hear when they concentrate).

Anyway today’s little post is about your own expectations for yourself, the belief in having to stay congruent to oneself and you’re image as well as being expected of others.

Another amazing anecdote (also accompanied by an alluring alliteration). Today I was coerced into going into a erg session (basically a rowing machine thing). I went with this one friend, he’s pretty good, 4th in Scotland for our age group I believe. Now just before jumping on our beloved ergos he proclaims he is having a panic attack, that he’s stressed and scared. Afterwards our coach divines that the reason he feels this way is because he’s stressed about having to live up to his expectations (and his killer split).

He was scared that if he couldn’t keep up his performance he would feel less happy as a person. His expectations of himself were generating fear and could perhaps generate sadness if his expectations weren’t fulfilled.

When I was about 10 I had this thought “those with lower expectations are happier” as I grow older it becomes more real. If he had gotten higher than his original time he would’ve still been entirely unhappy, even if it was still an excellent time.

I got asked today how I seem to take pleasure in writing a chemistry report. Simply put my expectation for happiness is so low that nearly anything could make me smile. Frankly I seem a little crazy because of it, but I’d rather be happy than seen to be normal. “your story must always be moving forward” elicited a chortle as I remembered some tape by Captain Red beard.

It got a little bit nebulous there, but the whole idea is low expectations is good expectations.

Though it is a little paradoxical, whilst having low expectations you should still want to achieve greatness. Its pointless to be happy but unsuccessful, it’s just a waste of time. So there’s still a need to strive for things.


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