Taoism and Expectations

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Expectation – a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future; or a belief that someone will or should achieve something.

“In the case of uncertaintyexpectation is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. If something happens that is not at all expected, it is a surprise. An expectation about the behavior or performance of another person, expressed to that person, may have the nature of a strong request, or an order.”  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Multi-Talents face or endure lots of expectations.  We have lots of talents.  We have exhibited these talents.  As a result, those around us have expectations that we utilize certain talents that have been exhibited.  We place expectations on ourselves of using the talents, achieving high performance / expression with the talent(s), and executing perfection.

Expectation can be a motivator and drive to fulfillment.  Expectations can drag us down and create a sense of frustration, inadequacies, resentment, disillusionment….  Expectations need to be clarified.  Where are they coming from?  Have we consciously chosen to commit to the expectations?  Are the expectations in line with our values and our passions?


In Taoism a person is taught to drop expectations.   The more expectations you have for your life, the less you will become.  A Taoist lives life without expectations, living in the here and now fully.  Most people need a few expectations especially when dealing with important future experiences.  A Taoist approach is to consciously create a single expectation at a time for that future experience.    An example:  Create the expectation to express a talent of choice consistently and have some fun.  That’s it!  Don’t place any learning or changing into your expectation.  If you do, this actually plants the seed for the opposite to occur.  By creating a single simple expectation such as expressing a talent of choice consistently this then becomes something you can always fulfill since you can empower that action to happen.  Any expectation more complicated or relying on something outside of yourself just set up the future to not meeting your needs.


In Taoism it is within the pause of a breath… that each step of living becomes visible for your larger live to improve and follow upon.  Smile, when needing to pick a possible next step.  To smile is to open possibilities.  Breathe when needing a break.  Since to breathe is to be at one with yourself.

What is your experience?  Share in the comments below.

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