Drop Expectations for a Zero Conflict Life


Unmet expectations are the source of grief; freeing ourselves from its clutches requires high spiritual maturity. You need not be a born Buddha to learn this art of improving your spiritual quotient. Let us read further on how to stay balanced when life goes contrary to expectations.

Dropping expectations does not require you to become a sage and travel to the Himalayas. It simply means that you need to loosen your grip on the expectations that are holding you back from realizing the happiness that you could have realized, if you were but free from them.

For instance, how do you react or feel when a peer lets you down in an official meeting or say, when you bring a friend home to find your children fighting over a trivial issue? Most of us would usually get highly embarrassed or annoyed in such situations.

This is largely because for most of us, the world has shrunk to ourselves or, at most, to our immediate families. We expect life and people around, to treat us, our spouse or our children with only the best. We fail to realize that there is a world beyond that too.

The reason behind this self-centeredness cannot be attributed solely to the soaring ego either, rather in the busy life of the present day, most of our time and energy is consumed in taking care of our own selves. So, what about the rare few who have the courage to step-out of their ambit and widen their arena to sail freely in the ocean of selfless care for the world?

Trust me, even today there are people who are bothered and have time to love the world the way it is. Realizing this and embracing what is, can surely help us claim happiness and peace for our souls.

Expectations breed Conflict

When you return home after a long day of work, you expect your spouse to open the door with a wide smile on the face. Don’t you? Well, most people do, but suppose one day (or maybe for some days in continuity) you see that you have not been getting the welcome that you had been expecting from the other end.

You don’t bother to speak about what is wrong with your spouse, nor find out if he/she is suffering internally for some reason unknown to you, and gradually, this dissatisfaction leads to sudden outburst of anger leading to conflict between you and the person you love.

It is no wonder that we live in a cocoon of dissatisfaction, frustration and anger where one viciously leads to the other. In the above example, somewhere inwardly, you are depending on the other person for your own happiness.

You have a feeling that you will be happy only if your spouse is so or you expect the people around you to be always in a blissful state. You don’t bother that the other person too has a life of his/her own. They have their own concerns and botheration. You can realize this only when you step into their shoes and try to empathize with them.

Expectations lead to Suffering

The human mind longs for pleasure and tries to escape pain at all costs. We are programmed to do so. We draw back from pain or suffering in any form, be it physical, mental or emotional. It only reflects that we have an inherent tendency to seek favorable outcomes in all situations no matter how unlikely, but this is contrary to what happens in reality.

No shortcut in Dropping Expectations

As social-beings, we are dependent on others. This dependency leads to expectations which when not met bruises and wounds us putting innumerable dents on our inner-self. To become whole and perfect from within, we slowly need to drop the cloak of expectations from ourselves.


Reality is good and acceptable in its simplest form. The way it is. If you try to mold it your way, it will lead to blockages in your relationships, making you feel unnatural and perturbed.

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. ~ Donald Miller (Tweet this)

Accept things as they are, break the cocoon, come out of your ambit, widen your spectrum and embrace the world without expectations!

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About the Author

Rohini Jha is an author, writer, poet and a management graduate. She ardently believes in taking life one day at a time. A spiritually inclined person, she treads life on the path of growth and self-improvement with a firm view that whatever happens, happens for the better.

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