I can want everything to be “just so” all I like, but expecting it to happen that way is something else entirely. When I expect something to work a certain way, I’m just setting myself up for irritation and disappointment because I lose sight of the fact that I cannot have ultimate control over everything!
There is a difference between planning and expectations. When goalsetting, you’re meant to have identified a reachable achievement and be aiming for that outcome. Expectations are sometimes just irrational demands on yourself. And the longer I let myself think in terms of expectation, the harder it is when things just don’t go the way I wanted.
Perhaps this is just a distinction I have come up with. Maybe other people don’t see any variation between “planning for” and “expecting to”. However, I certainly do, and it’s something I should be more aware of when thinking about my future. Much in the way of deadlines, a lot of expectation is hinged upon timeframes.
So the new idea is to plan for outcomes, but stop imposing expectations on them. Plan to, yes, finish stories when I can, but don’t expect them done in a certain time, or even a certain way. Stop expecting them to come out as a specific thing. Keep working and see what comes of it. Learn, evolve, improve, and always move forward. Plan for a polished, complete work at an indeterminate “end” point, but don’t expect things to come out the exact way I want the first, or second, or even third time.
Most importantly, plan for leniency. Stop expecting a sense of failure when something goes awry. I can’t snap my fingers and force the world to come into line. Plan for Zen. Stop expecting control. Continue, persist, move forward. It’s a relaxing way of thinking!