We are wired to have our expectations rise as we take action. The more we work, the larger we think our year-end bonus ought to be. The more we care, the more we think we ought to be loved. The more effort we put in, the more success we think ought to follow.
But, of course, nothing really “ought” to happen. Nobody really owes us anything (except for stuff on a signed contract).
So, one of the best practices we can adopt is to treat everything as a bonus and do things because we enjoy doing them. This is easiest to see with relationships. Relationships break down when both sides have high expectations. The more the expectations, there’s more left unsaid, there’s more ego hovering about and this, in turn, leads to an unwillingness to concede. Rising expectations does nobody any good.
The best relationships, on the other hand, are just filled with love and affection. And, with this love and affection comes a realization that the most important part of love is to be able to let a person go with no expectation.
That approach works with most things in life. The more we can take action and re-calibrate our expectations to zero, the more happiness we’ll experience. So, take action and when you do so, do the best you can. Then, re-calibrate and move on to the next action. If anything good comes off what you did, let it be a bonus.
In fact, let everything good be a bonus.. because bonuses are awesome.