We live our lives, setting goals, which lead to expectations of ourselves. We expect our friends be friends forever and to help us in our times of need. We even expect to arrive at a certain destination if we leave home at a specific time.
Yet, we realize that as we live in the world, nothing ever goes as planned.
We can miss some outrageous goal we set for ourselves, such as selling 25 cars a month when the average is 8. We can fall short by two vehicles and become completely devastated.
Because we set ourselves up with an expectation, yet fail to meet it.
We can expect our friends to listen to us when we are sad. Sometimes, they won’t be able to drop everything and get around to it. Then we feel ignored and unloved.
Because we set ourselves to expect more of our friends, even though they have their own lives.
We can even expect to make it to work in an hour if we leave at a specific time. If there is an accident along the way, then we become panicked because we’ll be late.
Because we expect the world to go according to our plans.
All of these expectations just lead to disappointment down the line. It is impossible for us to hit all our own goals. It is impossible for our friends to always be there for us. It is impossible to even get to a destination on time, all the time.
The best way to deal with disappointment is to avoid it altogether. To do that, we need to eliminate our expectations.
Without expectation, there is no disappointment.
Personally, this was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn. I always put huge expectations upon myself, like wanting to get rich, to outperform everyone, to be wildly successful, and yet I always fell short. Then I would go home and cry in bed for months because I missed my mark.
Instead, what I found to work for me was that I needed to adopt a philosophy of consistent and never-ending improvement. I needed to work on myself, not what the world expects of me. I needed to forget about comparing myself to others and how well they are doing. I eliminated the concept of Darwinism, or survival of the fittest. I just focused on bettering myself, in all aspects of my own life.
In turn, my life flipped right side up. Then everything just started to go right for me.
Your position in the world isn’t to compete with others. It’s to become the best human being that you can become.
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.