We've got so many options to do whatever we want and meet whoever we want. It's easy to say, "I'm going to set my expectations to zero so I'll never get let down. If this experience sucks, it's ok because I'll have plenty more opportunities."
It's true, that's a great way to never get let down.
It's also a great way to never have anything amazing happen.
Our brains are programmed to create a reality out of whatever we're imagining or expecting. It's why you consistently hear about world class athletes picturing success before competing. Extreme athletes (skateboarders, bikers, etc) play a movie in their mind of exactly what they are aiming to accomplish before their event.
Your subconscious mind can't tell the difference between imaginary scenarios and reality. It watches that movie and assumes it's reality and that it's possible. Once your subconscious mind accepts something as possible, there's no stopping it from becoming reality.
Whatever you set your expectations to is what you will get.
I heard Disney employees go through training that tells them to set their expectations as high as they can and consistently exceed them by 1%.
If we continue to set our expectations at a high level, great work will be what naturally happens. It won't be an uncommon event or a fluke.
Our natural state is one of curiosity and exploration. A state of believing that anything is possible. Think back to when you were 4. You truly believed that you could do anything. Over time older people convinced you that you were limited by something. Some force of nature will limit you and make certain things impossible. They stopped believing anything is possible so they think it's their job to convince you of the same.
"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it."
I have a specific goal that I'm working toward every day. It's a goal of making a certain amount of money. (I have plenty of other goals that don't have to do with money, so relax with all the "life is about more than making money" thing. That's something poor people say).
I'm not going to say that number here You can make your own number and play along. I'm going to make this many dollars every week and I'm going to do it in a way that's enjoyable for myself and impacts others along the way. I'm happy to talk more about this if you're interested. Send me a message.
I've mentioned this to a few people of varying ages and I consistently get responses like, "Well you better start playing the lottery" and "Yeah, wouldn't that be nice!"
YES, it would be nice. And it WILL be nice but I don't need to win the lottery. These people are stuck in some sort of poisonous thinking that says it's impossible to make a lot of money doing something they actually enjoy. Maybe they tried and failed, or maybe they were afraid to try, so they failed by default. Maybe some stupid adult told them it's not worth following their passion. It's better to chase the security of a 'real job.'
Maybe it was an innocent comment to keep the conversation going, and maybe it was an automatic response because they don't know how else to respond. If it wasn't helpful and supportive you need to eliminate that from your mindset at any cost. Maybe you need to stop being with people who have small thoughts. You can try to change people, but that rarely works.
Your brain has a capacity for a certain amount of activity. Every day I have to focus on filling it with positive things that are bringing me closer to accomplishing what I need to accomplish. Bad thoughts creep in constantly. We can't pretend they don't exist. I don't know how to eliminate them completely, but I can acknowledge they are there and instantly and consciously replace them with something useful.
I don't think this process ever ends, but rather becomes more automatic as we force it to become habit.
If you never want to be let down, never have expectations.
If you want to have an awesome life, have massively huge expectations and exceed them everyday.