Today in my Operations Management class, my professor gave us a bit of life advice to start off the day. This conversation came up because when class started, there were still several people that hadn’t shown up on time. So my professor went on to explain that if your expectations are higher than what actually happens, then your frustration will be high. So in order to have lowered frustrations, the easiest way is to lower expectations rather than try and lower the actual events that happen. It is so much harder to control the outcome than your own expectations.
An example he gave us:
Back in the day, when I would need to send shipments of stuff to people, I would tell them that it would arrive in two days, but it arrived 3 days later instead. When that happened, the person would call me up and call me out on it. However, when I told people that the shipments would arrive 4 days later and it arrived 3 days later instead, the person would call me up and invite me to dinner. Despite the fact that both shipments arrived 3 days later, the expectations was what made the difference in people’s reactions.
I was going to say that I agreed with this way of thinking to an extent, but as I began writing, I realized that YES I actually do agree with that equation fully. With low expectations, you’re less likely to be disappointed and you may even surprise yourself in a good way. However, lower expectations should never stop you from trying new things or doubt yourself.