The Problem with High Expectations

Mental Fitness, Tough Love!

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Have you ever gone to a movie thinking it was going to blow you right out of the theater? Yet not only does it not blow you away, it couldn’t even blow the straw paper off the end of a straw.

Now, the opposite end of the stick. Have you ever gone to a movie that you really had no expectations about – one way or another? Yet after the movie, you’re raving about it all the way to the car? You feel like you’ve found a treasure that you hadn’t expected and you feel better post-flick than you did pre-flick.

Above are my Royal examples of these scenarios. My entire family had been looking forward to King Kong for months. I can’t remember the last movie we anticipated that much. We’d go to Kong’s official website and play the promotional video, watch and rewatch the commercials, make jokes about clearing our calendars, etc. We did all but buy new outfits to go see it. In the end, the commercials were a heckuva lot more entertaining than the movie. Heck, our calendars are more entertaining. I thought the movie was miscast in just about every role, and taken way, way too far – in the totally wrong direction.

The King died….

……But long live the Queen! One night while the laundry and I were doing our thing, my husband asked me and our 3 daughters and I out on a date. He said he’d found us a movie to go see called “Last Holiday.” The girls and I had matching blank expressions and similar dancing little question marks over our heads. But we never, ever, ever turn down movie dates, so we threw on our Levi’s, grabbed our purses and met him in the Caravan. Of course we were still wondering what in the heck a “Last Holiday” was. We didn’t even know who was in it until we got to the theater and saw the poster! I thought, “Queen Latifah? Cool. LL Cool J? Cool Cool.” But I still had no idea what to expect.

During the entire movie, you couldn’t have wiped the smile off of my face. The movie was adorable – it was one of those movies that literally just make you feel good. I loved it, I loved the Queen, I loved LL, I loved the hubby for finding this gem. I don’t know why, but the whole way to the theater I was expecting a bomb. I mean how good could a movie be that you’d never heard of? Turns out – danged good.

There’s a little bit of a life lesson in this sort of thing. I’m not saying that we should never get our hopes up or place our expectations on the high shelf. In fact, sometimes the two (expectations and reality) collide nicely. In keeping with the movie themed example, Memoirs of a Geisha was a movie that two of my daughters and I were as hyped up about as we were Kong. But unlike him, the Geishas delivered beautifully. It was a remarkably beautiful film with incredible acting.

But if we live our life always expecting everything to be golden, we’ll be bitterly disappointed – and bitter disappointment followed by bitter disappointment makes the disappointed bitter.

I’ve seen a lot of people expect perfection out of themselves, out of life, and out of others. The practice leaves them often angry and often let down. They put this on a continual cycle and it wears them down emotionally, physically and mentally. They’re robbing themselves of happiness and making life tougher than it needs to be.

Personally, I think that if we keep our expectations reasonable, we’ll be disappointed a lot less. Even better, we’ll be in for more pleasant, queenly surprises.

That’s got to be better for the psyche!

Make each moment count double,

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2 comments… add one
  • I loved Queen Latifah and LL Cool J and the rest of the cast..who, by the way were cast and not miscast like that dud of a crapper Kong.

    That and The Witch, The Lion & The Wardrobe were the best ones in 2 forevers.

    I give them 2 blogs up !

  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was another movie that was better than I’d expected. It was AWESOME and I was only expecting DANGED GOOD. -Joi

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