Freedom Blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


No Limits | The Freedom Coach


Written by Steven Griggs |

“Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations, and small needs”            William Howard Stein

“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”                                                                                             Stephen Hawking

Expectations are desired outcomes. These are either expectations from within ourselves (inner) or expectations from the outside world (outer). Of the two the only one you can control is the inner.

In the physical sense we have a bit of chemistry to overcome. Our brain releases dopamine when it is pleased. So when its expectations are met and it is pleased a small amount of dopamine is released into our system. This gives us a quick feeling of pleasure and well-being. Larger amounts of dopamine are released if you greatly exceed your expectations.

This “reward” for meeting our expectations can result from the smallest form of having your expectations met. For example, being on a deadline and looking up and seeing you have 30 minutes more than you thought you had or having the light turn green just before you have to stop at the intersection. Both of these events will cause dopamine to be released.

Conversely, when you have an expectation that is not met, you not only don’t have the flush of dopamine, you actually have a more negative feeling come up. This can even dip you below where you would be normally. In some instances you might even have a momentary feeling of fear.

Living with expectations is the real source of all unhappiness.

This is because you are constantly living with contradictions of the ego. Your desired outcomes don’t match with what is actually happening.

You looked forward to a clear warm day and it rains. You have an appointment and your car won’t start. You were hoping to get the new job and you didn’t.

It never ends.

So what do you do? You have to learn to become detached.

You have to learn to accept what is not what you would wish it to be.

For example when your expectation is a sunny day but you get wind and rain, look at the weather and accept that this planet has a lot of weather and without it the entire planet would be a desert. So you accept the weather and put on a raincoat or pick up an umbrella. Simple.

No need for an emotional reaction or frustration or even anger. It’s just weather.

Try stepping back from the emotional engagement of contradicted expectations.

Accept what is and roll with it.