Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Aloha Friday! Managing Your Expectations

Sure, it's been a long, hectic week. But I am still smiling! Aren't you? 

This week has flown by, hasn't it? Fridays bring an opportunity to reflect on how blessed I feel. Working at the things one feels passionate about brings me as much joy as connecting with all the new and interesting people I meet along the way.

I've been reflecting on life's expectations, that is, what so many want from life and where they want that to take them. Whether this is in the real of our professional or personal lives one item in the path to fulfillment and happiness remains clear.

Your expectations are based in large part on your choices.

There are those who say, "No expectations? No disappointments." Forgive me for saying so but on this I tend to be a contrarian.

Sure, I know that we live in a very imperfect world, Business, politics, it's all very human. We often see things that cause our heads to spin. We feel that we are not in control of our circumstances. While to some extent that is true, there are always options. It's our choice as to whether we recognize them or not.

But I am a believer in standards. There are those who have said to me that life would be better if I just reduced my standards. Nonsense. I see those standards as my way of filtering out those who do not act in conjunction with my best interests or my goals.

I housesit for a couple here in Hawaii when they travel. Before their latest departure, my friend's husband related to me a lesson he learned about trust and expectations from over 30 years ago.

Arriving in California from Malaysia, Al found a job working for an employer who required a certain type of uniform to be worn. Fair enough -and delighted to have landed his first job in America- he purchased his uniform and returned to work three days later as instructed.

When Al arrived a different supervisor was on duty. So, when Al introduced himself to this other supervisor he shook his head and said, "I never hired you. The other guy is not in charge. I am."

That left its mark on Al. He never forgot that lesson. Can you blame him?

I've had more than my share of those who came into my path, gave glowing accounts of how they'd like to help build my own projects to fruition -only to reveal that their interests were far removed from mine, and their standards far, far below. Those souls do not stay around long at all.

As we head into the weekend it's wise to reflect on our choices, to accept the fact and no matter how well-intentioned you are not everyone wants to reciprocate your good will or buy into your vision. As All did years ago, I learned to take responsibility for both my choices and my expectations of others. People have flaws. Some know this, many do not, many prefer not to.

If you are being shortchanged or feel taken advantage of do not be afraid to sever your ties. The choice is always yours. If righteous anger is the result on your end let me be the first to remind you that you may have every right to be so.

Make the choice to realistically surround yourself with those who share your vision and your values. Make the choice to sever your ties to those who do not measure up. Your expectations are exactly that -yours. Never forget that.

Jeffrey Bingham Mead is the founder and president of The Pacific Learning Consortium. 

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