Don’t blame people for disappointing you. Blame yourself for expecting too much of them.

Don’t blame people for disappointing you. Blame yourself for expecting too much of them.

I believe it is a very natural feeling to expect that another person would do something on par with what you would do under similar circumstances. But, is that being fair to the other party? Perhaps you are an overachiever or do you have other skills or advantages in your favor that create the extra effort or engagement that you might expend under similar circumstances?

Conversely, have you ever been in a situation where you felt that you had given something your all and the other party still was not satisfied with what you had delivered? Did that leave you feeling disenfranchised and demoralized that after all that you have done, it still wasn’t enough?

Setting reasonable expectations is an important quality in life. Understanding what defines reasonable becomes the core component of the equation. For what is reasonable for one person is highly unreasonable for another, for a host of reasons and circumstances.

If you do not set expectations and you instead just allow things to be, you might find yourself considerably more delighted in life by most things rather than determining they are not measuring up to a supposition that you made in advance of experiencing them. These simple truths are responsible for countless fluctuations of our own personal happiness, predicated upon our ability to just enjoy what is, instead of continuously transposing what we might expect on top of any situation.

This does not mean it is not natural to have these expectations, but rather it is an acquired skillset to recognize our own part in those disappointments and to own our own personal responsibility in such situations as to disengage the part that we are playing in any of those types of disappointments. It is not always the easiest behavior to maintain, but it is certainly the most healthy approach. 

Happy Monday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!