It’s hard to stay motivated and keep your head up when things start going the opposite way from what you want them to or think they may go. As college students, bad grades tend to get us down. Failed relationships are a big disappointment. Employment and career opportunities don’t always follow through with our expectations. Children tend to have a stubborn streak that seems to lead them into trouble and brings us as parents to a place of frustration… and the list goes on.

But how do we keep our heads up in the middle of all the disappointment and un-fulfillment of expectations? Well, perhaps the key to this struggle lies in the question itself. Expectations. I know that when I have expectations and they aren’t fulfilled, I feel the disappointment more deeply than if I had no expectations to begin with. So it sounds like a lack of expectations would be the first step, at least for me maybe.

Wait… Are you kidding me?! How do we do that? I mean, everything begins with an expectation. Even something as simple as going to bed at night… I go to bed with the expectation that I will wake up in the morning… Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t go to bed. I mean, if you don’t know whether or not you are going to wake up in the morning, why would you sleep? I make food for a meal, with the expectation that it will taste good and nourish my body… otherwise, why go through the trouble of cooking?

Life is guided by expectations based on previous experience and knowledge, so leading an expectation free life is virtually impossible. Perhaps the solution lies somewhere else… acceptance? There! That is better. I can “accept” that solution. Sure, I have the expectation that I will wake up in the morning after I go to bed but if I don’t… Well, I can accept that that is a possibility and I would really be none the wiser should that be the circumstance. And when I cook that meal… if it doesn’t taste like I expected it to, I can accept that. Maybe next time I will have better luck.

So there it is… Acceptance. Let us apply this to some of the examples I mentioned earlier in the post. Relationships. They may fail and it may be disappointing, but we can accept that. Every relationship whether platonic, romantic or relational, is a learning experience and I am sure there was something to gain from having the interaction. Grades? Well, it may be disappointing and we may have a lot riding on them in the long run but hey, we can accept the grade and use it to motivate us to take a different approach in the future. Children? Ooooh, that is a tough one. I know I have expectations for my child and what I would like him to do to be successful and happy. If he doesn’t do what I felt was the appropriate thing… well I can accept that. Life is a learning experience and I sure didn’t do everything that my parents wanted when they wanted. I learned from my experiences and my son will too.

So, in the end, it all comes down to acceptance and being okay when our expectations aren’t fulfilled. Yeah, it’s disappointing but we can learn from it and grow and it seems to be a much gentler way of navigating this crazy hectic world we live in.

As always, this post was generated from my own opinions and thoughts and I am not a professional giving professional advice. If you have comments, please feel free to leave there in the appropriate section on this forum and please, as in all your affairs, be civil and courteous. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed.