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How To Manage Expectations

How To Manage Expectations



People’s expectations bogging you down? Try looking at them differently!

If people’s expectations of you have been bothering you, perhaps it’s time to look at things from a different perspective. Expectations, Sadhguru tells us, could be an opportunity to go beyond our limitations and do something with life.

Sadhguru: Different people have different expectations of you, and these expectations are treading on each other. Your wife wants you home by 5:30 but your boss wants you in the office till 7:30 in the evening. You have only twenty-four hours but if you have to fulfill your parents’ expectations, your children’s expectations, your boss’s expectations, and above all your spouse’s expectations, you actually need sixty hours a day. “Where do I get those extra hours?” That’s the question.




Right now, people have expectations way beyond your capabilities. Don’t curse that. It is a great boon that people are expecting big things from you. If people looked at you and thought “Oh, we can’t expect anything from him,” and they had no expectations from you, do you think that would be good for you? If your boss has no expectation from you, you will get fired. They are all expecting many things from you. This is an opportunity for you to go beyond your limitations and do something with life. Does it mean to say you will do something perfect to fulfill everyone’s expectations? It will never happen. But if all of them are constantly expecting more than what you can deliver, that means your life is going well. Enjoy your wellbeing, don’t complain about it. Do the best you can do and that is all there is.

This is not about being perfect in your activity. There is no such thing as perfection in life. There is only one thing that happens perfectly, and that is death. If you seek perfection, unconsciously you will seek death. Don’t seek perfection in life. Life does not become beautiful because you are perfect, life becomes beautiful because you put your heart into everything that you do. Life is never going to be perfect because whichever way you are functioning right now, you could always be a little more, isn’t it? So there is no question of perfection. Only when there are big expectations, you will stretch yourself beyond your limitations. If you can stretch, that means you have still not reached your limitation. If there are no expectations, you will never find your full potential.

It takes a completely different kind of consciousness and awareness to stretch yourself to your ultimate limit without anyone’s expectations. That takes something else within you. Right now you are not like that. You are only driven by people’s expectations. So let them expect bigger and bigger things from you. You manage the situations to the extent you can manage them. Some things will always be out of control, and the more things you get into, the more things will be going wrong in your life. But many more things will be going right also. The quality of your life, or the success of your life need not be measured in terms of fulfilling something. It needs to be measured in terms of whether you are giving yourself totally or not. What has to happen will happen according to your capability, the situations, and how everything falls together – many things are included in this. But are you giving yourself hundred percent to whatever you care for in your life? That’s the question.

You go to work, you have to manage your family – this is survival, no big deal. You have not taken up something of tremendous significance. It does not take anything great to do it. But a lot of people have made it as if it is their lifelong effort. Their whole life’s purpose is to earn a living and somehow survive. It need not be that way. A human being is far more capable than that. If this capability has to find expression, you need a certain amount of clearing of your mind. There are simple tools and practices to work with. If you work with this for a certain period of time, you will see there is much more clearing in your head and you can see these things with clarity, because this is not beyond your capability. This is something that you can and owe to yourself to do.

This article is an excerpt from the book “Ambition to Vision,

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