The Consequence of Expectations

The Consequence of Expectations “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else” (Yogi Berra). Expectations are strong beliefs that something will happen in the future and can provide a compass to guide one toward that vision. They can also be beliefs that someone can or should achieve something. On the other hand, expectations can be destructive when they are unrealistic, and can cause disappointment when not achieved.

Having expectations for other people can be positive when it encourages them or can cause disappointment when they do not conform to the other person’s priorities or abilities. High expectations can be goals that paint a compelling future that inspires one to work hard to achieve it.Famous athletes often attribute their accomplishments to visualizing the road to success and assuming they will get there.Before Jack Nicklaus became one of the world’s greatest golfers, he had a plan and an expectations to succeed.He often referred to his career of climbing a mountain and how each day of training he got a step closer to the top.

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Looking back on his triumphs he stated, “Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation” (Jack Nicklaus). Expectations for the future can be beneficial because they can be goals that become reality. They make people strive for something they normally would not, and accomplish more than they thought they could. A more relevant expectation that most high school students encounter is to go to college. As a result, they strive for good grades in challenging courses and study hard for entrance exams. When a student finds a college he is passionate to attend and it has high academic standards, he will work diligently to achieve and exceed the requirements for admission.

Without this motivation he may not have this mindset and may not try as hard or challenge himself as much. As a result he will become a less qualified candidate and less likely to be admitted into his top choices. Expectations can help set priorities to turn them into realities. On the other hand, expectations can also be damaging because sometimes they can be unrealistic and too challenging to ever achieve. When someone anticipates something to happen and it does not, it can cause a great deal of disappointment. A more talented team that is expected to win a big game may not feel the pressure to give a 100% effort; a less skilled but more motivated team can occasionally win.

After several decades, the Ramapo girls’ soccer team felt tremendous disappointment when they did not live up to the assumption that they would beat Indian Hills this fall. The pressure to meet an expectation that is not fulfilled can be harmful if it causes the team to lose their confidence or give up. Sometimes when one does not have expectations for themselves, others’ expectations can guide with a clear direction. Teachers and coaches often provide this future vision when those they teach do not know what lies ahead. Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe, famous German poet, statesman, mentor to many expressed it well, “If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that” (Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe). However, when goals someone has for another are not aligned with what he or she wants to achieve, there can be frustration on both sides.

Parents may want their child to go to college leading to a stable career, but not every student has this aspiration. Some may want to skip college and be a professional athlete or pursue a trade. The difference in expectations can cause conflicts and arguments to arise between the student and his or her parents. A more harmful outcome would be to blindly follow another’s expectation for your career and end up finding yourself discontented. Others having expectations or high hopes for one’s future can be beneficial to the extend both share the same goals. Although expectations can have a positive impact on one’s motivation to overcome adversity, they can also impact one negatively when supposed outcomes are not achieved.

Perhaps it is better not to have expectations but rather to have goals. Unlike expectations, goals are constantly changing and evolving to fit one’s current circumstances, and therefore they create a healthier mindset than expectations. Visualizing a desired outcome gives motivation to work hard to achieve rather than to expect.