On Expectations

Hiya SCG,

today’s shipment was inspired by Facebook status of my friend Prashant, which said this: The Better You Do, More They Expect”and this got me thinking. How is it with expectations? Is Prashant’s status update true or not? How should we deal with all those opportunities laying in front of us, in an interactive and connected age we live in? What shall we expect? Are expectations put on us encouraging or it is a burden?

Expectations Are Giving Birth to Disappointment

Two and half years ago, my first mentor Gary told me: “Expectations are giving birth to disappointment.” and he taught me that I should have expectations only and only from myself, no one else and nothing else.

But, we always want and expect more…

Human nature is pretty tricky in the “expectation” sense  as we constantly want (or we are encouraged) to want and expect more. Pay rise, promotion, more pairs of shoes, more holiday destinations to visit, more friends to attract into our lives, more adventures, more and more and more…

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong to have ambitions

It is perfectly OK, if we want to rise and shine in our corners of the world. “Wrongness” comes into play, when we do nothing extraordinary to get there. For example:

  • When we are sitting around in the office like everyone else and  we are expecting promotion or getting that great contract through…
  • When we are not exercising and expecting to be fit and slim…

  • When we are not preparing for presentation at all and we expect to get audience boiling with excitement…

  • When we are not stretching ourselves out of comfort zones and we expect to reach where those risk takers reached…

Getting the point?

It is time to take responsibility for your life into your own hands

I believe that linking own happiness, feelings and well-being to external factors and situations is pretty lame way how to avoid responsibility for own decisions, actions and life itself. Gary’s lesson gave me answers for most of the disappointment I have faced in my life and it might make you to think about it, too.

So, what  “expectations policy”did I apply into my life 2,5 years ago?

I do have the highest expectations from myself: t he way I ship, the way I interact with people, the way I look after myself, the way I give love to myself….All of it is my job!

I do my best when shipping my art and I do my utmost best of the moment I am in. Some people might expect more from me, but honestly it is not my business at all. What plays the most important role for me is, when I close my eyes shortly before I fall asleep and ask myself: “Are you satisfied with your day? Did you fill expectations you set on yourself day before?” , that my answers will be Yes.

So, I would like to take a courtesy to correct the quote from Prashant’s Facebook status to:

The Better You Do, More they You Expect…


is your set of expectations helping you on your quest or not? Is it a stimulator for your shipping or it works as scary hand-brake? Can you imagine to function without any expectations from others but yourself? Do you already live like that?

Expecting your comments;-)



  1. Well said. Expectations from others, expectations from self without doing enough and not managing expectations of those we work with, are key contributors to our frustration index.

    One more point – we only do things for ourselves. We don’t do our work for “them”, even when we are employed (specially in the knowledge world). We work for ourselves and hence your correction is very apt!

    Thanks for that Inspiring Shipment 🙂


  2. This is a great post, Ivana.
    I have very high expectations for myself and when I look at things I’ve done, I tend to see the mistakes and problems rather than the achievements.

    I recently stepped away from a project I was leading because the people involved weren’t following – I failed at leading them. It has really made me hesitate to take on any other projects. As I look over what happened, I can see how easily I could blame them. I think the biggest disconnect came from expectations. They expected me to tell them what to do, I expected them to be linchpins.

    I am great at inspiring people, but not so great at telling them what to do. As I look at another project I want to take on, I’m trying to figure out what kind of a leader I am, can I call myself a leader if I’m not prepared to do the detailed planning, and how can I manage expectations so everyone’s needs are met.

    Thank you for bringing this discussion forward.

    What should we expect a leader to do?

    • Hiya Frances!
      Thank you for your confession. It made me think and here is what I came up with:
      @”I am great at inspiring people, but not so great at telling them what to do”
      – what about focusing on WHY you all are undertaking a project instead of telling them WHAT to do. I have confidence in you, that you can brilliantly communicate your vision and better future after accomplishing the project. And that is what leader do, she sees better future before everyone else. Just believe in it sincerely and you will find source of energy, creativity and tons of passion within you.

      @”I’m not prepared to do the detailed planning”
      I am sure there are people in your team who would gladly help you with it and take over planning and monitoring. They just need to see your trust in them and their skills. And again, it is all about WHY, when you know it – even you yourself would not mind to pull up your sleeves and do planning. However, me personally I don’t plan – I just ship without plan;-)

      @”how can I manage expectations so everyone’s needs are met”
      You cannot manage anyone’s expectations, it is their job. You can only inspire them by own example and make them think, that their expectations might need a change. Nor you can please everyone. There will be always someone whining and nagging and too scared to be responsible for own actions. Trying to please everyone is utopia, especially if you want to accomplish “linchpin” like project.
      P.S.: feel free to skype me, if you would like to talk;-)

  3. Life in short could be described as expectation management. You would do expectation management at home, i am sure u recognise actors here. In the office its the collegues that you manage.
    On the long run, one does expectation management on oneself. If managed well, it could be a booster, if done badly it would be more than a “hand brake”, it would be more of a brick wall…
    Probably in short one could say, (I am going to be controversial here) u manage ur “success” through expectation management

    • 😉 Yes, Anish and the beauty of it all is that YOU can manage yourself and success and happiness…no one else. Well others can add their bits, but only once you have done it for yourself first, you will be able to attract other “boosters” into life.

  4. Periodically I check my rules to see if they’re supporting me or getting in the way.

    I’ve found that raising my standards in key areas of my life helps me with significant change … and at the same time, lowering my standards in other areas is a key to happiness and balance.

  5. Brilliant analysis!
    Indeed, we want more out of ourselves (you and I, at least). But, we are linchpins! Not the average, the mediocre!
    I know that if I can work as if the day was 48-hours long, ship on time, act as if I wasn’t tired at all, I feel great and give greater gifts. When going to bed, I sum up all the positive aspects of my day. If it isn’t enough, I get my ass in gear and squeeze hard to get brain-juice when I wake up 😉
    Again, great, thought-provoking post. I loved it!

    • Yey, JB!
      Welcome to Super Cool Gang thanks to your 1st comment here!
      Thanks for liking this shipment and I am happy to have another inspiring linchpin in our super cool tribe;-)

  6. Hey Iva 🙂

    So currently this is the issue in my team. When they opened the topic about the expectations from the beginning of the term when we started..like they were ,,complaining” about it like they didnt get enough expectations what they gonna do and how it gonna be…but personally I think you must open and ask about your own expectations by yourself and then share it in your team..I think, the leader can not give the right and exact points what they should expect..i can just show them the way..but these days im really dicsussing a lot about this topic because they are complaining about it. But I just think people should get scared in good way to expect or not expect something…and then they can find the right way. that´s my opinion 🙂


    • Ahoj Evicka,

      Well, well…show them AIESEC acronym & start with first question, if they don’t know why are they in your team, they better spend their time elsewhere…
      And you are right, you cannot give them answers for that, it is each and everyone job!
      the most and the only thing you can do, is to tell them why you have decided to lead them and what expectations you have from your own actions and then walk your talk.
      You can do it! I have confidence in you!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Vrijhoef, Ivana Sendecka. Ivana Sendecka said: shipped: NEW on Inspiring Shipments: "On Expectations" http://bit.ly/br5FU9 #IS Check it out if it is what you have expected;-) […]

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