“To expect or not to expect”

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

My father used to say that one must not expect anything from anyone. I had been hearing this when I was a young boy and also later on as I grew up.

Over the passage of the last 50 years, this statement of my late father has played an important role in the formation of my personality, and has ruled my overall living style.

Outrightly this statement appears very simple and understandable, but in reality it is very difficult to understand it correctly. Honestly speaking whenever I think over it, I could not understand it fully.  I fail to fathom the depth of the word “expectations”.   “Never expect anything from anyone”, actually covers three words. The first word is “expect”, second one is “anything” and the last one is “anyone”. The dictionary meaning of this word is very simple and straightforward, but if we start listing down our expectations, the list never ends.

In short, expectations include everything in our lives. These expectations generally include physical, financial and moral support that we get or want to be given as help to achieve our goals. This is what the word “anything” refers to.

The third word “anyone” is also very important, since it covers all people that we come across during our lives.

Looking back again to the original statement, we find out that it is almost impossible for us, to achieve our goals without expecting anything from anybody. But, looking back to my past, I realise that it is not completely impossible. However, of course it is impossible to do everything by oneself,  we all get help from people, both visibly and invisibly.

The point here is not “getting help” from others. The point is not to “expect help”. We must distinguish between the two. Let me explain the practical difference between the two and how does this affect our daily lives. I have tried not to expect help, during my life. I can say that it is really difficult “not to expect”, but this motto has helped me in achieving my goals in life.

I have found out that “expectations” has got a very direct psychological effect on our lives. If we expect some help from someone, and we do get that help, it does not bring real happiness and self confidence, since we get what we had presumed. So there is nothing new.

But whenever we get “unexpected” help and support from someone, “without expecting”, it boosts our morale and self confidence, The “unexpected” happiness adds positively to our overall way of thinking and adds to effectiveness of our efforts. This positive development, makes achieving the goals much easier.

Reaching a goal with “unexpected support”  improves our self confidence but at the same time it may make us “expect the unexpected support”. This is the critical point where we may lose all that we had achieved.

On the other side , I believe that if we do not get the “expected help” , we get disappointed and get disheartened. Achieving  a goal under these circumstances becomes almost impossible. This is what we must know before “expecting” anything from anyone.

For the whole of my life I have tried “not to expect anything from anyone”, but found that it was almost impossible, but have realised that even if we succeed in implementing even 10% of the original statement in our lives, it would make a very positive change in our lives.  However even that is difficult, but I believe it is not impossible.

I passed on to the new generation what my father had told me, and I expect them “not to expect anything from anybody”, if they want to be happy and successful in their lives.

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