Musician Ray Wylie Hubbard says, “The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, those are good days.” I think it goes without saying that gratitude is an amazing “happiness strategy”. Expectations, on the other hand, get us in trouble. The expectations we have of ourselves and others are one of the quickest ways to get frustrated and disappointed.
I have found that we get frustrated when people don’t meet our expectations when, in reality, most of the time we haven’t even clearly communicated what our expectations are. Think about the last time you were frustrated with or disappointed in someone. Chances are, it was because your expectations weren’t met. Did you clearly communicate them?
I once had a friend who said he was never disappointed because he always kept low expectations. I think he and Ray Wylie Hubbard were on to something, in simple terms; however, I am a firm believer that we must always have high, positive expectations for ourselves and our organizations.
This year, one of my goals is to communicate better, more clearly, and more effectively. This is something that I will consciously make an effort to do on a daily basis. Not only will I need to better, clearly, and more effectively communicate my expectations, I will also better, clearly, and more effectively show gratitude. When I do this, the days will be good.
This post was adapted from an email I received from Dr. Ray Deason. You can follow him on Twitter @RayDeason