Expectations and limitations….They’re the root of stress and resentment the Old Man used to remind me any time I’d get pissed off about something and, when looking at things objectively, the man had a point. It was always because I didn’t get the phone call or the job, that my expectations of a situation where not being met or that someone or something had crossed the line, thus my limitations.
The thing is that it happens all the time.
Very few people will live up to your expectations and more often than not, at some point, they’re going to let you down even with the best of intentions. Even situations are very rarely what we expect them to be in our own imaginations, the job’s not the same, the date doesn’t go as planned. We spend so much time thinking about how things should be, how this person should act, how this situation should play out, that we fail to experience the moment for what it really is, without labeling it as good, bad or otherwise.
Limitations are slightly different.
It’s one thing to not live up to a person’s expectations, it’s another thing when you disregard their limitations. If someone makes it clear that they’re not game for something, you need to respect it and in turn, if people don’t respect your limitations, you need to speak up and tell em to fuck off.
No, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t push yourself and grow, I’m saying that you should respect not only your own place on the path but everyone else’s as well.
So what do we do about this?
At the end of the day, we need to first off face up to the fact that we really don’t have control over anything other than our actions and our attitude. We can’t even control our own feelings yet we can control whether we react to them or respond. I can’t help if I find other women attractive but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to cheat on my girlfriend.
I can’t control the fact that I often work with idiots but I get to choose if I’m going to be an asshole to them or work with them as a leader. I can get pissed that they’re chopping tomatoes with a filet knife and make fun of them, or I can take two minutes and show them how to do it the right way and empower them while also earning their respect and loyalty since I’m not being a fucking dick.
It takes time to go from knowing this to being able to practice it with a sense of understanding. It’s been nearly two decades since I was sitting in the Old Man’s Kitchen listening to him lecture me and I’m just now starting to really get it. You fuck up, you learn, you try things a bit differently the next time and keep working at it until you find your center. Then be ready to adapt to the inevitable change….