The equation of expectation

“Whenever you are happy with something in your life, it is because right now, the conditions of your life match your blueprint, or your belief about how life should be in that particular area.” – Tony Robbins

 

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Me: living my best life during the time I had my dream job (which I thought would last forever.)

In our culture, we are taught that we are not good enough unless we do something mind-blowing and unique. It’s pounded into our brains every day, with social media and even our own self-inflicted pressure to be the best, do the most and do it perfectly. (My assumption was that I’d land my dream job at about 28 and be set for life. Well I landed my dream job way earlier than expected and then my dream job contract ended.)

As you might know by now, Tony Robbins IS MY GUY. His optimism cuts the strings of doubt that I can feel tied down by.

This week, I’ve been focusing on one specific concept:

“Growing and giving are the basis of human happiness.”

Truthfully, this seems way too simple. For longest time, I added about 10-15 different items in that sentence.

“Growing, giving, health, great relationships, phat career, ample creativity, positive environment, traveling often, loving my family…. are the basis of my happiness.”

That’s just the BASE of my overall happiness. The additions kept growing and before I knew it, it was almost impossible to stay happy. I mean look at that list?! How was I to keep 8+ items in a good and flourishing place at ALL TIMES? I had expectations for each of those categories… huge expectations. Those expectations kept me propelling forward at 100 mph with little patience, a feeling of being flooded with disappointment when I didn’t accomplish something, angry with my significant other all the time, hard on myself when I’d miss a workout and comparing myself to everyone else in my lane.

What I’ve come to understand, is that we have a particular blueprint we’ve developed for our lives. This is the image we’ve had in our heads of where we’d be at every stage, in every different category of life: career, relationships, income, lifestyle, health.

What I’ve quickly learned, is that misery is born when we veer off the path of this imagined blueprint, or when we don’t live up to the expectation of our life. If you’re not in the job you imagined you’d be in, if your body doesn’t look or feel the way you thought it would, or if you’re not dating the type of person you always thought you’d be dating, all those expectations are shattered and you feel like sh**.

What is at the root of all this? OUR EXPECTATIONS.

Think about when we intentionally have zero expectations. We go into some situations with the awareness,

“No, I’m not having expectations for this movie because I don’t want to be disappointed.”

HELLO… we know this is something we deal with but for some reason we can step back and apply it to our day to day life. So, because I’m a math nerd I’ve put this in an equation to help further simplify it.

Growing (in any capacity/direction) + giving (caring for others, working toward your bigger purpose) – Expectations = Lasting happiness 

Here’s a question for you. Think of the happiest times in your life. Did you know they were going to happen? Doubtful. The truth is, you never know what will end up making you happy until it subtly creeps on you. Relax and let it happen!

What are you expecting for your life? Have you fulfilled those expectations? Where are they rooted? Great. Now remove them. Release them into the air. Let go of the 300-pound pile of expectation that you’ve been living with and watch your world transform.

In case you’re in need of some more inspiration, a book that has changed the way I see success in this crazy world is The Originals by Adam Grant. This book will keep you growing.

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Comment below with your thoughts. I love hearing just how we all relate to one another, or not!

T.

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Preparation meets opportunity

“Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

This was what my mom used to tell me growing up. I always believed her, but I couldn’t rely on luck, so I chose to pave my own path anyway. I spent my childhood fighting to be the most well-rounded kid I could be. I was athletic; I was a dedicated theater performer; I was passionate about my education; I nurtured my relationships; I ate healthily; I learned lessons the first time; I tried to always make my family proud. Each day, I set an intention to remain happy, patient and always respect myself. This was how I was going to make my life exactly what I wanted it to be.

Despite my efforts, there were times when I would question my specific decisions, when I thought I needed to have more fun and stop trying so hard. People would often tell me not to take life so seriously. It wasn’t until others commented about it that I thought I was living a heavy, high-pressure lifestyle. It made me worry that I was wasn’t focused on the right elements of life. Watching all those other kids have a blast and not worry about their futures made me nervous that I was watching my life pass by.

But today is different. I spoke to my mom this morning about how each step I’ve taken up until today has led to this minute. I knew I had big dreams, HUGE dreams when I was young, but to think I’d actually accomplish them rarely crossed my mind. My focus
was on the path to getting there and enjoying that first… then maybe if that luck rolled around I’d catch my dream job. Well…sitting here today, thinking back on all of the frustrating piano lessons, dense theater classes, long study nights, impossible exams and tough moments of defeat, I can now say that everything was worth it. I can’t believe I get to say that! I get to say it because a few weeks ago, I landed got my dream job. I get to pack up everything I own, jump on a plane, hurl myself into the unknown with a really great friend of mine and get paid to do it!

My dream job is quite different than what most people picture. I hoped to blend everything I love into one particular position. But I was told that job doesn’t exist, so I was about to settle for second best. What is unexpected, is that this new job was carefully crafted to work out. Everything I did in my life up until today has led to it. The position isn’t even a job, it is an adventure. I couldn’t have created a job more perfectly aligned with who I am. A job that involves health, wellness, travel, cooking, meeting other people and television is all wrapped up into a perfect bow. Luck? Sure. But most importantly: preparation.

All the questions I lived with for so many years, about whether or not I’m doing the right things, have been answered. I am so grateful!

-T.

Yoga Journal Gaia TV