Our expectations have a significant influence on the outcomes we get in our day-to-day lives. Not because they’re a magical solution, but because they have such a hold on our perceptions. If we expect to encounter difficulties, we perceive every obstacle as a hardship. If we expect to be disappointed, we’ll perceive any outcome as a disappointment. And—the brilliant part—if we expect to find joy, we will, regardless of the circumstances.
During this second week of Advent, let’s take a moment to understand what it means to expect joy. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we attach expectations to every part of our lives. We have expectations of our partner, our children, our workplace, our friends, our future. Sometimes they are reasonable expectations, other times they’re a little out there. If we are able to evaluate our expectations and make sure they’re reflective of reality, they can be a very healthy part of our outlook.
One of the ways we can increase positive outcomes is to create an expectation of joy. It’s important to understand that we cannot expect that every situation/moment/interaction/etc will bring us joy. Instead of placing the burden of joy on outward elements, we need to set our expectations inward:
I will find joy in this situation/moment/interaction/etc.
This kind of expectation acts as a perception reset. Instead of looking for disappointment, hardship, or having unattainable expectations, you have just challenged yourself to find joy. When you have this mindset, you’ll be surprised at all the places you will find joy. And once you begin finding it, you’ll never go back to looking for anything else.
You can let go of the urge to expect disappointment, fear the future, and brace yourself for pain. Those things will still come—they always do. But you’ll be looking for joy in the midst of them, and that is a powerful tool.
If you’re looking to jumpstart your leap into the New Year, schedule your free 30-minute session with me today. Look for joy, friends, and watch your world transform.