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Let Go of Expectations

Let Go of Expectations

Nothing creates more unhappiness than failed expectations. The job promotion that doesnít come through, the proposal of marriage that is postponed one more time, the image of an ideal family that never materializes.

Expectations are an attempt to control the future. An expectation says, ďI wonít be happy unless x happens.Ē Here we must be careful, however. Having no expectations is a familiar way of saying that life is empty and without hope. That is not the goal. Instead, itís a kind of openness in which anything can happen and be welcomed.

When expectations donít come true, the result is disappointment. You can enjoy your day more if you approach it without any expectations.

1. You can be more centered. When you are centered, you arenít so dependent on your circumstances. The ups and downs of everyday events donít throw you off.

2. You donít need to dictate in advance what a good day would be. One can never see the whole picture. Room needs to be left for the unexpected. In that way, when the unexpected comes, it upsets nothing.

3. You could let go of outcomes. The only thing any of us can control is our own actions. Outcomes are beyond our control.

4. You could take things less personally. Life comes and goes. The universe gives and it takes away.

Nurturing these attitudes in yourself helps you not to build up expectations. Iím not suggesting that you can totally avoid disappointment. Our minds are stocked with images of things that we identify with happiness, and by expecting those things, we expose ourselves to letdowns.

Your soul doesnít exist to fill a mental list constructed in the past. Its gifts are unexpected. The happiness it brings is fresh because it comes from outside our expectations.

Adapted from Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2009).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.


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9:29AM PDT on May 11, 2013


10:47AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

good tips

12:44AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Agreed. If you let go of expectation you open yourself to wonder.

10:17AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Very good article and advice / reminder. I really appreciate your wisdom always. I also enjoyed what Emma S. said about the egg-- good analogy for life.

9:55AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

It really does seem to be a balancing act - not just drifting along aimlessly, but not clutching too desperately at our aims either. When, as a child, I learned to ride I was told that you have to hold the reins with the right degree of contact with the horse's mouth. I was told to imagine I was holding an egg - too loose and the egg gets dropped, too tight and you crack it. I sometimes think that this is good advice for how we hold onto the reins of our lives!

11:22PM PST on Mar 1, 2011


12:33PM PST on Feb 1, 2011

To do the very best you can with each day you're dealt is what you're responsible for. Once that's in place, the rest will take care of itself, you have no further control

11:21AM PST on Feb 1, 2011

Stop expecting and start accepting is my motto!! Thanks for sharing!

6:01AM PDT on Jul 28, 2010

Don't expect, just trust and all will be well.

12:53AM PDT on Jun 8, 2010

And it's also better to see later why did something happen in a particular way (that we didn't wanted to happen so at that time) than never.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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