Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Mantra: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Earlier this year I wrote a post about having no expectations from people in your life. Lately, I've started to have those doggone things again- The Expectations. Here I was, keeping myself in check, when all of a sudden I wasn't anymore. Not a little bit, not at all.

It's awful, the way they sneak up on you and bite you in the ass because of ideas you've created within your own brain that the rest of the world doesn't know a thing about. But that's what they do, The Expectations. They get you when you're least expecting them. It's clearly a vicious cycle of not expecting, then expecting, then WHAM - You've wrecked yourself.

I'm not quite sure what happened to me. I think I got a little spoiled with all of the good things happening in my life and maybe, just maybe that threw me off track. I'm certain that part of it is due to the fact that I'm not as much of a patient person as I'd like to think I am. Being impatient means you have expectations...speedy ones. Those suckers are derailing, let me tell you.

Life was better when I didn't expect anything. Life was actually kind of fantastic and wonderful because each and every good thing, good day, and good moment was a surprise. A beautiful gift that I hadn't anticipated or even hoped for. When you expect nothing except minimal kindness and respect from another human being, you're rewarded every single moment when they go above and beyond that. Which turns out to be very often, when you're paying attention appropriately. When you're not expecting huge and life altering things, you can suddenly notice each and every small and beautiful thing.

It also helps you to appreciate what you've been given. This kind of awareness ensures that you're grateful for every moment, every person, every single thing.

Too bad I've forgotten all of this recently. Too bad The Expectations got me.

Here's the post from earlier this year as a reminder to all of us, myself especially.

When you expect nothing, you're given everything. 

Repeat as needed.

Sometimes I expect too much out of people.

I expect everyone to be good, kind, and honest.

I expect them to be open, real, themselves at all times.

I expect people to want more out of life than what life has given them, mostly because I believe they are capable of more than that.

I expect a lot.

The idea of The 100/0 Principle is that you take full responsibility for the relationship, whatever kind of relationship it might be, and expect nothing at all in return.

Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

The first time I heard about it I struggled with it. How do I give someone everything, do everything, be everything, and then expect absolutely nothing back in return? Am I setting myself up for failure? Is it really wrong for me to want something out of all of my efforts?

Over the years, through trial and error and accidentally having no-expectations a lot of the time, I've learned that people will surprise you. Complete strangers will be more amazing than you could have ever imagined, while the people you think you know the best will often let you down. All because of expectations, or the lack thereof. What I've found is that it all really depends on the other person, which is not to say that I'm expecting them to carry the weight of the outcome. No, what I mean is that sometimes you get exactly what you expect.

Sometimes you get nothing.


Sometimes you get more.

Sometimes you get everything.

That's the risk you take in life, though. That's the risk you take in everything you do. And sometimes that's the answer you need to let you know if you have the right people in your life, because the right people will be on the other end of this, giving you everything and expecting nothing in return.

Together, you will have gotten everything from nothing.

It's a simple, yet complicated, yet beautiful approach to life.

In all honesty, however beautiful this approach may be, I've adjusted this principal slightly for myself because I still struggle with it.

I've decided that it's OK to expect the basics in life: Kindness. Honesty. Respect. The other person not being a serial killer.

You know, the basics.

Outside of those, I am choosing to be surprised. I am choosing to let people show me what type of a person they are by what they're willing to put into everything. With what they do with the nothing I am expecting.

I'm anxiously anticipating nothing. We'll see what happens.

Related Post
Monday Mantra: Expect Nothing

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