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).


Aud Nordby
Aud n4 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

good tips

Lean Towards Y.
Past Member 5 years ago

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

Mac C.
mac C6 years ago

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.

Emma S.
Emma S6 years ago

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!

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C7 years ago


Debbie Wasko
Past Member 7 years ago

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

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez7 years ago

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

Rachael Wharton
Rachael W7 years ago

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

Kinga Kovacs
Kinga Kov√°cs7 years ago

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.