note to self - stop expecting


Surprise! Babies learn best from the unexpected

Expectations can have surprising effects

"The argument goes that in order to give children a more positive sense of themselves, we must shield them from the negatives of life.

This gives children a false sense of reality and unattainable expectations.

This nonsense creates people who will be unhappy and unable to cope.

It's better to expose them to life and to teach them to cope with negatives in a positive way." - Irving Leemon

"Expectation is founded as deeply in man as his very design.

His lungs not only have, but can be said to be, an expectation of air, his eyes are an expectation of light rays of the specific range of wavelengths sent out by what is useful for him to see at the hours appropriate for his species.

His ears are an expectation of vibrations caused by the events most likely to concern him, including the voices of other people; and his own voice is an expectation of ears functioning similarly in them.

The list can be extended indefinitely: waterproof skin and hair, expectation of rain; hairs in nose, expectation of dust; pigmentation in skin, expectation of sun; perspiratory mechanism, expectation of heat; coagulatory mechanism, expectation of accidents to body surfaces; one sex, expectation of the other; reflex meehanism, expectation of the need for speed of reaction in emergencies.

The expectations with which we confront life are inextricably involved with tendencies (for example, to suckle, to avoid physical harm, to crawl, to creep, to imitate).

What we expect in the way of treatment and circumstance becomes available, sets of tendencies in us interact, again as the experience of our ancestors has prepared them to do.

When the expected does not take place, corrective or compensatory tendencies make an effort to restore stability." - Jean Liedloff

to expect is to:



presume; suppose

consider likely or certain

look for with some confidence

regard something as probable or likely

anticipate something that is about to happen

look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of

Expect is always a mental act with a reference to the future.

Expectations are based on a conceptual understanding of reality

"I fervently believe there's such a thing as being too positive, especially when expectation gets confused with hope.

Americans seem unable to separate these ideas.

This is the philosophy I've been living for years.

I expect to have a miserable time but these scenarios are rarely realized, so my life generally floats along on a steady undercurrent of joyous relief.

That's the power of negative thinking.

Our entire ethos is wrapped up in the myth of turning dreams into realities, of constantly reaching for higher goals, of never settling.

Psychopathy is what turned America into the Earth's most powerful nation.

It's still worth remembering that the phrase -"the pursuit of happiness" wasn't originally connected with the terms "life" and "liberty."

Thomas Jefferson worded of the Declaration of Independence after the work of 17th century British philosopher John Locke, whose social contract confined human rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of property."

It was Thomas Jefferson who substituted "happiness" for "property," saddling centuries of Americans with the notion that happiness is not only a realistic expectation, it goes hand in hand with life itself.

We've been taking John Locke's advice all along by relentlessly pursuing property and confusing acquisition with happiness.

I've always thought we'd be better served by a line like "the pursuit of contentment" or, better yet, "life, liberty and hope."

That's because pursuing happiness as a social contract sounds a lot like a mandate to set pie-in-the-sky goals and then feel cheated when they don't come to pass."

"Hope, on the other hand, has some poetry to it.

Hope acknowledges human desire while respecting uncontrollable forces.

Hope is downsized from the entitlement inherent in expectation.

Do we hope our children will wind up in Ivy League colleges, or do we expect them to?

Did we bank on fivefold appreciation when we bought the house with a 0% ARM, or did we just have our fingers crossed?

Did the president hope military intervention would bring peace to Iraq, or did he . . . oh, never mind.

It's interesting how the maxim "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst" now sounds quaint.

It even suggests bad karma. But thats the problem with positive thinking.

It skips right over simple contentment and careens headlong into high expectations." - Meghan Daum

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