Aspiration vs Expectation

In his Netflix special, 23 Hours to Kill, Jerry Seinfeld spoke about how everything we plan in life may fail to live up to expectations, and in the end we will feel that the experience either “sucked” or was “great”. 

As Seinfeld states “sucks and great are pretty close.” 

For example, if a new restaurant opens up and we are told it’s great, when we do try it and are later asked about it, we will most likely say it was “just okay” or “not that great”. However, if we were told by friends that they didn’t like the restaurant, and we were to try it, we would describe it as “okay”, or even “amazing”.  

It’s the same restaurant, so what’s the difference? Expectations.

Expectations pose a problem because, more often than not, we are skewed towards a negative bias. Our expectations are not based on facts or real data, instead, our imaginations have run amok, setting unattainable standards by which we grade ourselves. This leads to serious negative self talk and why so many of us feel stuck. 

These unrealistic expectations are what prevent us from even being able to start anything or accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. The mountain feels too steep to climb, so we don’t even begin. 

In the end, if we throw expectations out the door and focus on just “doing”, we might initially fail, but as long as we keep trying, we will make it up that mountain. 


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