Friday, March 6, 2009

What to expect when you are expecting ?

Naah..ah...if you are a mom or dad-to-be looking for info, you are totally in the wrong place....this blog is about 'expectations' - something people have or meet or exceed or break !

“The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations.”

"With women, always expect the unexpected" - my addendum: with men, always expect nothing ;)

Surprises add color to life exactly for the same reason. This however should not be confused with what happens in your work life or with your partner. The key is to differentiate between responsibilities and expectations. With the former, you are fulfilling your duties (meeting a project deadline) and with the latter, you are enjoying life's little pleasures (getting a thank-you dinner from your boss). I could complicate this all the more and say, if you expect a thank-you dinner from your boss thinking that its his duty to do so.....well...tough luck....and grow up ! now, you get the picture, right ?

You would be surprised to see how a relationship based on no expectations works wonderfully well. There are no disappointments, no hard feelings and above all wonderful surprises ! Once you rid yourself of the temptation to expect, you will also learn to deal with all issues equivocally - life suddenly becomes full of interesting incidents and challenges !

My friend keeps saying ''I definitely do believe, if there is something we pass on to others, it should be the etching of their brains with the words - This too shall pass !''.It just means we ought to never get too excited or too dejected about anything - how true, how practical (probably a little less romantic...oh..well...all is fair in love and war :D)

I was talking with a friend a mine about another mutual friend - lets call him Ram. Ram is generally considered an opportunist while I know him as a very good person. When I was analyzing this difference in perspective, I realised what was going on. I reflected back on my conversations with Ram and discovered that we have never done any small talk (not the object oriented programming language, am referring to the conventional pleasantries, talking about the weather etc.). Any time I need something from him or vice versa, we just call or ping the other for it. This does not mean that we do not care for each other, it only means that it is so implicit and that we are such good friends that the need for small talk actually disappears ! I realized that Ram was taking the liberty of doing this with many others, whom he considered close and this ended in him being misinterpreted as an opportunist ! These people never gave him the ''benefit of doubt'' (from here on, BoD)

As I started looking around, I saw this happening umpteen times in a normal day where unreturned phone calls or emails, forgotten birthdays, missed appointments always inevitably ended in the relationship turning sour and never once did anyone get the BoD. This is where I am reminded of a wonderful quote about empathy - ''Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting a battle'' - empathizing with anyone would take you a long way in becoming a better person and remember, to empathize with someone does not necessarily mean you agree with him/her.

I cannot honestly claim that I am not guilty of any of the aforesaid mistakes but I have had the opportunity to learn from them and trust me, life becomes a lot more interesting and cheerful, when you start practicing the this-too-shall-pass paradigm and BoD !

Let me leave you with another favorite quote of mine - “I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.”

The retrieving process will continue.......
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