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January 19, 2023

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

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Featuring a quote from 18th century poet Alexander Pope, I must say that there is more to this thought than his immediately perceived. There’s a silver lining to it. The quote is “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed."

When I first read this I had the impression that this is too far on the side of being unemotional and detached from reality. I thought that if you don’t expect anything then sure, you can’t be disappointed. But the consequence to that is it’s also restricting your ability to feel enjoyment and celebration.

But then I really thought about the first word of the quote -Blessed. “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

This highlights the extent of the gift that detachment is. So many people are preoccupied with cause and effect of things and the expectancy of results that it prevents them from being present in the moment. It causes people to be less engaged in the input, which is where moments live and life is experienced. 

It’s a blessing that you expect nothing because it means that you have no attachment to the output and you can dedicate your full-attention to the input.

The beautiful part is, this helps you focus on what’s in your control. We can shoot to attain certain results but at the end of the day we cannot guarantee them. What we do have fully agency over though, is the way we position things and set them up for success.

When we’re too invested in the outcome and we fall short of achieving it, it’s disappointing. That’s a universal response. But that’s not to say we can’t celebrate the wins of life! Of course we can, and we should! But the focus here is we cannot expect them because that will affect the way we go about doing things.

And that’s the silver-lining of positivity - to live a more joyful and uplifting life it serves you to prevent contrasting emotions like disappointment and frustration. Understanding now that those emotions come when reality didn’t meet your expectations, you can curb their influence on you by not having set expectations in the first place.

Now I must say, I’m not suggesting you don’t have any expectations for anything. I believe there are certain standards you must uphold for yourself and those around you to create your best environment, but I share this perspective because it might help you interrupt the pattern and give you a new way of thinking about your relationship with generating results.

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