Majority of the sadness and frustration in our lives is because we expect.
We expect that he or she will fall in love with us.
We expect our kindness to be given back.
We expect that we will get rich and famous.
We expect many outcomes.
We work hard for these things and then we expect. Sometimes we get what we expect. But when we don’t get these things. We get so disappointed.
Certain events may happen that are different from what you expect. In fact, these happen often. When you expect a certain outcome and it doesn’t come, you get sad and frustrated. So what can we do so that we take out this sadness and frustration?
“Act without expectation.”
– Lao Tzu
Does this mean we should let go of our goals? Does this mean we stop expecting that good things can come out of the hard work we do? No, not at all. What this does mean though is that we still have goals, we work hard for them, but we don’t get attached to outcomes. That’s the key.
Allow things to happen. Instead of trying to prevent this or that from happening, you take them as they are. You let things flow. This allows you to maintain your happiness and calm, whatever the outcome.
When you’re allowing, you aren’t attaching yourself to an outcome.
When you’re allowing, you are awake – seeing the situation for what it is and where it’s going.
When you’re allowing, you aren’t tossed about by the waves of desire.
When you’re allowing, you are steady like a rock in the shore no matter how the waves move.
Allow things to happen as they happen. Do what you can, but let what is happening happen.
This does not mean you become passive and just allow everything without doing something about it. This means you allow things to happen and work from there. Through this, you attain a balance where you work towards a certain goal but maintain your calm whatever happens.
There was once an old adventurous sailor who has been on great journeys. He was well-known for his wisdom. Eager for wisdom, a young man frustrated with life because of unmet expectations once asked him, “Should we expect things to happen or should we not expect them at all?”
The sailor replied, “I set out to sea with a sailboat. I set out to certain places yet I do not always arrive at those places. If I do arrive, oftentimes those places are not what I thought they would be. I cannot control the winds, yet I can adjust the sails on my masts. I cannot control the waves, yet I can adjust the rudder of my boat.”
The people who asked the question were angry. “You didn’t answer my question.”
The sailor laughed and then replied, “Only you can answer that for yourself. But you know what the secret is to a great journey?”
“Whatever happens, enjoy every moment.”
Happy sailing, friend.