07/08/2014 06:02 pm ET Updated Sep 07, 2014

Great Expectations: What Would Life Be Without Them?

The other day I listened to a person talk about the trials and tribulations they were encountering. In one of those delicious moments of clarity, the question, "What did you expect?" came to mind. It was not a sarcastic statement. It was a real query: What did they expect? If they expected that life would flow unimpeded according to their wishes and desires, then I can see why they would be frustrated.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is important to hold intentions for your life. The issue is with expectations. It has been said that expectations are premeditated resentments. Expectations carry judgments. Intentions are statements, void of whether something is right or wrong, good or bad.

Let's use the preceding example: If I expect life to flow unimpeded according to my wishes and desires, anytime it fails to do that I will feel hurt, disappointed, disillusioned, etc. There is a subtle judgment embedded in that statement that in fact is saying "anything outside of this is wrong or bad."

Let's look at it in a slightly different way. If change my statement to an intention that life will flow unimpeded, I am stating that yes, that is what I desire, that is what I am working towards. However, if something doesn't go according to my plan, there is no hurt feeling but merely an observation. I can choose to view it as perhaps a course correction, or merely accept it as part of a bigger plan that, eventually, is going to get me where I want to go. I can recover far quicker from those kinds of detours than the emotional ones which just add more baggage to my journey.

Perhaps it may seem like semantics to you, using one word versus another. The issue is really what is lurking behind the statement and whether it carries implied judgment as to outcomes or not.

When you can let go of expectations, let go of the need for controlled outcomes, life really does flow perfectly. And there's nothing wrong with that!