Azzahra Putri Maharani (vol 2): Managing Expectations
Have you ever wanted to do something. Then, you have made thorough preparations. And you have high expectations that it will work and run smoothly. But it turned out to be a complete failure. Has anyone experienced this?
Expectations are inversely proportional to reality.
When high expectations do not match existing reality, it is certain that we will feel negative emotions. Whether it’s sad, disappointed, angry, or something else. And these excessively negative emotions can be a source of unhappiness. This is why we need to learn to manage expectations.
How do we manage expectations?
Let me share a few philosophies that have worked very well for me in controlling expectations. One way is to use the Stoic Philosophy. Stoic philosophy (Stoicism) is a school of ancient Greco-Roman philosophy pioneered by Zeno in 300 BC. I purposely gave the understanding first so that my friends could understand better. Now let’s take an example …
Suppose you plan to open a business. And you have prepared carefully and are thoroughly cooked. And anyone, will want to succeed.
But in Stoic Philosophy, you have to do Premeditatio Malorum.
Premeditatio Malorum (a premeditation of evils) means you think about any bad things that might happen, accept that possibility, be prepared if it happens, then just move on.
So if in that case …
Even if you have prepared carefully, you still have to remember that there are always 2 possibilities: Success and Failure. That means you can make yourself pessimistic? I don’t think so. So, here it is…
Pessimism is when we only focus on the bad possibilities, which is failure.
But in Stoic Philosophy, we do think about the possibility that we might fail, but that doesn’t mean we forget the possibility that we too could succeed.
So, this mindset will help us to keep our expectations balanced and realistic.
Then what if we really failed?
Okay, just accept it.
Why is that?
In the concept of the Control Dichotomy in Stoic Philosophy, there are things you can control and things you cannot control. So in this case, all you can control is your efforts. But you can’t control what the outcome will be. It is no longer your right and your capacity.
After all, there will always be a reason behind everything, right?
This failure may indeed be something that has to happen and you have to go through with it. What you can do now is focus on what you can control.
Take the lesson, then get up, and try again. Don’t be afraid to start over. Because this time, you don’t start over. But start with experience.
Hopefully friends who read this can enjoy the journey of each process as happily and comfortably as I did. I know that enjoying the process is no easy feat, sounds like nonsense, but it’s definitely something we have to live with, like it or not. So, learn to accept with open arms and gracefully whatever is and may happen. Fighting! — Azzahra Putri Maharani.