Managed expectations

“It’s very important that you manage your expectations,” a sentence that comes back to us so many times these days. You can hear it at the doctor’s, at the job interview, at the school or on TV, but you can even read it between the lines of career articles and personal emails.

So what exactly are these expectations, and how are we supposed to manage them?

If you are, just like me, stuck in-between two generations that mass media has no label for, it’s pretty difficult to answer. But you most likely start as one of the Millenials, attracted by the possibilities this new global environment offers and by your own capabilities in them. You convince yourself that by just “doing what you love” you will emerge from the crowd and ride flawlessly on the hands of your mentors with a totally balanced flow of chi, and live happily ever after.

But, it is very important that we manage our expectations. It still takes time to emerge and according to British researchers, the human body still needs more than happiness and some prana to survive. Maybe the world is not ready for such an abundant amount of artistic visions that this generation has. Maybe our parents were benevolent, but not aware of the different challenges.

So, what’s next? You guessed it: the management issues. The acceptance.

It’s ok if you’re not so special. It’s ok if you’ve even made some wrong decisions. You can do with less. Your happiness might lie in being employed by a corporation with a solid financial balance for a 9-to-5 at some desk and whist your conscious ego with a big load of shopping bangs in the weekends.

You start to think of yourself as a little bit older, and by consequence, a little bit wiser. You start to think of yourself as one of the Generation X, and your “true calling” as some nice but childish idea. You master the art of writing cover letters for people working at HR-departments and you want to belong to them with all your heart. You really want to be a little cog in the huge machine and make a living on that.

But, it is very important to manage our expectations. The complete change of a mindset takes quite a lot of time, and, according to Maslow, humans need more than just food and shelter to be motivated to get up from bed every day. For the real well-being, we need self-esteem and self-actualization, we need creativity and play. More than just for a couple of hours a day.

Still, no matter how hard you try or how loose you get, it doesn’t work.

So, what’s next?  You guessed it: the management issues. The reinvention.

It’s ok if you’re not wanted, because you don’t want them either. You just do what you love and whist your material thoughts by a number of mantras. Like this one: managed expectations.

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